COVID-19 Updates and Resources for Retirement Home Operators

The RHRA is closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and will post advisories and information related to COVID-19 here as they become available. RHRA’s primary concern is the health and safety of seniors living in Ontario retirement homes.

Crisis Support Fund Program for Licensed Retirement Homes

The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility has provided funding to the RHRA to support licensed retirement homes in crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Crisis Support Fund Program is available until March 31, 2022. Please find below links to eligibility requirements, instructions on how to apply and the application form.

Note: the program shall provide no more than $100,000 to any single eligible retirement home to cover costs that are eligible under the program. Invoices must be dated after April 1, 2021 to be considered eligible for this program.

Please check out our recently updated FAQs for the latest information.

 

Below is Important Information for Retirement Home Operators:

OUTBREAKS: PREVENTION, TESTING, REPORTING & ASSESSMENT

 

Prevention

Retirement homes should follow the guidance for COVID-19 outbreak prevention from the Ministry of Health, including:

  • Ensuring all essential visitors wear masks while in the home.
  • Ensuring outbreak swab kits are available.
  • Ensuring sufficient PPE (gowns, globes, masks and eye protection) is available.
  • Training staff on the use of PPE.
  • Reviewing advanced directives for all residents.
  • Reviewing communications protocols.
  • Reviewing staffing schedules.
  • Reviewing internal activities to ensure social distancing.
  • Reviewing environmental cleaning protocols.
  • Actively screening all residents twice daily for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Posting signage and advising visitors who have travelled to affected areas or been exposed to a case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days to postpone their visit.
  • Posting signage and advising all visitors who are ill to postpone their visit.
  • Ensuring availability and accessibility of hand hygiene throughout the facility.
  • Keeping staff and residents informed on COVID-19.
  • Reminding staff to monitor themselves for illness and to stay at home when they are sick. Developing policies for managing staff who may have been exposed to a case of COVID-19.
  • Assessing incoming residents for respiratory symptoms and potential exposures to COVID-19. Monitoring residents for new respiratory symptoms or fever.
  • Quickly identifying and isolating any resident with acute respiratory illness or fever.
  • Ensuring signage is clear and that personal protective equipment (gowns, gloves, masks and eye protection) for health care workers are available and accessible for care of patients with acute respiratory illness.
  • Helping essential visitors with personal protective equipment if they are visiting residents under precautions.
  • Once a resident or staff presents with symptoms compatible with COVID-19, including atypical symptoms, the retirement home should trigger an outbreak assessment, including testing the symptomatic person and reporting any suspected COVID-19 illness in residents or staff to the local public health unit.

 

Testing

Homes must now isolate and test residents who show mild respiratory symptoms and/or atypical symptoms according to the COVID-19 Provincial Testing Guidance and this additional direction on testing.

Following active surveillance, any patient/resident with the following, should be tested:

Symptomatic patients/residents in line with the provincial case definition, who are experiencing one of the following symptoms revised from previous guidance:

  • Fever (Temperature of 37.8°C or greater); OR
  • Any new/worsening acute respiratory illness symptom (e.g. cough, shortness of breath (dyspnea), sore throat, runny nose or sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, new olfactory or taste disorder(s), nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain); OR
  • Clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia.

Note: in people presenting with ONLY runny nose/sneezing or congestion, consideration should be given to other underlying reasons for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies and post-nasal drip.

Atypical presentations of COVID-19 should be considered, particularly in elderly persons. For a list of potential atypical symptoms, please see the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms.

Asymptomatic patients: Testing of asymptomatic new admissions or re-admissions to a long-term care home or retirement home should be performed within the first 14 days under the direction of the overseeing clinician. Patients transferred from hospital to a long-term care home should be tested prior to the transfer. A negative result does not rule out the potential for incubating illness and all patients should remain under a 14-day self-isolation period following transfer.

In the event of a symptomatic resident in an institutional setting (e.g. long-term care home, retirement home, shelter, mental health institution, prison, hospice and other congregate living settings), asymptomatic residents living in the same room should be tested immediately along with the symptomatic resident. A negative result does not rule out the potential for incubating illness and all close contacts should remain under a 14-day self-isolation period following contact.

In the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in a retirement home asymptomatic contacts of a confirmed case, determined in consultation with the local public health unit, should be tested including:

  • All residents living in adjacent rooms
  • All staff working on the unit/care hub
  • All essential visitors that attended at the unit/care hub
  • Any other contacts deemed appropriate for testing based on a risk assessment by local public health

Local public health may also, based on a risk assessment, determine whether any of the above mentioned individuals do not require testing (e.g. a resident that has been in self-isolation during the period of communicability).

 

Active Screening

The RHRA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, is requiring all retirement homes to implement active screening protocols for anyone entering a retirement home including staff and essential visitors. You can find Ministry of Health posters below for both residents and visitors that can be used as-is or you can adapt them to your needs to help raise awareness of COVID-19 within your home.

 

Staff and Essential Visitors

In alignment with the Ministry of Long-Term Care’s instruction to all Ontario long-term care homes, retirement homes must conduct active screening of all staff and essential visitors. ANYONE who fails any part of the screening process will not be allowed in the home and is advised to contact Telehealth or their public health unit.

  • Homes are being asked to have a screener at the home’s entrance to conduct the active screening during business hours. Outside of these times, the home’s charge nurse/administrator should develop processes and procedures to ensure that all people entering the home are screened and visits are logged. These procedures are to apply seven days a week 24 hours a day.
  • Retirement homes should instruct all staff, students and volunteers to self-screen for COVID-19 at home. All staff, students and volunteers with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection must not come to work and must report their symptoms to the retirement home. All staff should be aware of early signs and symptoms of acute respiratory infection (such as fever, cough or shortness of breath).
  • See the “self-monitoring” information for further guidance.
  • See the latest case definition, as well as the up-to-date COVID-19 Affected Areas List.

 

Residents

Retirement homes must actively screen all resident admissions, re-admissions and returning residents. ANYONE who fails any part of the screening process will be placed in isolation.

Retirement homes must consult with the local public health unit and the resident’s primary care provider if residents exhibit symptoms or have had exposure to or if there has been confirmation of transmission of COVID-19, in order to determine any additional public health or clinical actions.

See the latest case definition, as well as the up-to-date COVID-19 Affected Areas List.

 

Reporting

Retirement homes are now required to report COVID-19 outbreaks to RHRA on the same day as it is reported to public health.

A confirmed outbreak in a home is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in residents and/or staff (or other visitors) in a home with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the home.

If your home has a COVID-19 outbreak please send the following information to info@rhra.ca:

  • Name of the home;
  • Licence number;
  • Number of residents residing in the home;
  • Number of positive resident cases;
  • Number of positive staff cases; and
  • Identification of public health contact.

This requirement was announced in an Ontario government emergency order found here. RHRA has a guidance document fond here that provides a plain language explanation of the emergency order.

How to contact your local Public Health Unit

 

Assessment

Once at least one resident or staff has presented with new symptoms compatible with COVID-19 including atypical symptoms, the retirement home should immediately trigger an outbreak assessment and take the following steps:

  • Place the symptomatic resident under Droplet and Contact
  • Test the symptomatic resident or staff (if still in the home)
  • Contact the local public health unit to notify them of the suspected
  • Test those residents who were in close contact (i.e. shared room) with the symptomatic resident and anyone else deemed high risk by the local public health unit, including staff; test residents and staff in close contact with a symptomatic staff member per risk exposure and local public health unit advice.
  • Ensure adherence to cohorting of staff and residents to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
  • Enforce enhanced screening measures among residents and

Receiving negative test results. If the retirement home receives negative test results on the initial person who was tested, the retirement home can consider ending the suspect outbreak assessment related steps in consideration of other testing completed and in consultation with the local public health unit.

Receiving positive test results. Homes must consider a single, laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member as a confirmed respiratory outbreak in the home. Once an outbreak has been declared, residents, staff or visitors who were in close contact with the infected resident, or those within that resident’s unit/hub of care, should be identified. Further testing on those identified should be assessed, in collaboration with the local public health unit, using a risk-based approach based on exposures.

RHRA requires following the protocols set out in the materials, particularly the active screening of visitors and self-monitoring of staff and volunteers. We strongly encourage homes to review their infection prevention and control procedures and emergency plans to ensure preparedness. Both AdvantAge and ORCA have pandemic resources available which can be helpful in your preparations.

STAFF

 

If your home requires additional staffing resources, or you are a healthcare worker looking to help, please register here.

As of April 9,  the Chief Medical Officer of Health directed that all staff and essential visitors must now wear surgical/procedure masks at all times for the duration of full shifts or visits. During breaks, staff may remove their surgical/procedure mask but must remain two metres away from other staff to prevent staff to staff transmission of COVID-19.

On April 2 , the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility filed an amendment to the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 regulation. The regulation change enables the following regarding work deployment and staffing:

  • Any retirement home licensee may take any necessary steps related to staffing and work deployment required to prevent, respond to or alleviate the impact of COVID-19 for the duration of the emergency. These may include changes to work and shift assignments, cancellation of vacation or leave of absence, hiring additional part-time/temporary or contract staff, and using volunteers to perform work. In addition, all grievance processes are suspended for the duration of the emergency.
  • As the emergency measures in question may involve the temporary suspension of terms set out in your collective agreements, we strongly recommend that you engage in good faith with your bargaining agents in conjunction with the measures. If feasible, engagement could include advance notice to and consultation with bargaining agents. If advance notice and/or consultation is not feasible in your particular circumstances, bargaining agents should be provided with notice upon adoption of the measures and should be informed that you seek to maintain a dialogue with them for their input and feedback with respect to the measures for your consideration in good faith in so far as the exigencies of the situation permit.
  • In addition, the regulation suspends the requirements for police record checks, provided other screening measures are taken to ensure the protection of seniors when hiring additional staff or taking on volunteers. However, active screening of all staff and volunteers for COVID-19 is still required.

The RHRA has created a guidance document with respect to this regulatory change. Please consult the guidance document and contact us if you have further questions.

PPE (PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT)

 

Updated Directives for PPE in Retirement Homes (April 8)

The Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided directives related to PPE in hospitals and long-term care homes that are to be implemented immediately by all retirement homes in Ontario when dealing with suspected, presumed or confirmed COVID-19 cases in residents.

  • Homes, health care workers, and other employees must engage in the conservation and stewardship of personal protective equipment (PPE). Homes must provide all health care workers and other employees with appropriate training and information on the safe utilization including doffing and donning of all PPE.
  • Retirement homes must assess the available supply of PPE on an ongoing basis and must explore all available avenues to obtain and maintain sufficient supply of PPE.
  • In the event that the supply of PPE reaches a point where use rates indicate a shortage will occur, the government and home operators, as appropriate, will be responsible for developing contingency plans, in consultation with affected labour unions, to ensure the safety of health care workers and other employees.
  • Homes must continuously update their Organizational Risk Assessment to ensure appropriate assessment of health and safety control measures to mitigate the transmission of infections. This must be communicated to the Joint Health and Safety Committee including the review of the home’s environment when a material change occurs.
  • A point-of-care risk assessment must be performed by every health care worker before every resident interaction in a home.
  • If a health care worker determines, based on the point-of-care risk assessment, and based on their professional and clinical judgement, that health and safety measures may be required in the delivery of care to the resident, then the home must provide that health care worker with access to the appropriate health and safety control measures, including an N95 respirator. The home will not unreasonably deny access to the appropriate PPE.
  • At a minimum, for health care workers and other employees in a home, contact and droplet precautions must be used by health care workers and other employees for all interactions with suspected, presumed or confirmed COVID-19 patients or residents. Contact and droplet precautions includes gloves, face shields or goggles, gowns, and surgical/procedure masks.
  • All staff and essential visitors in homes must wear surgical/procedure masks at all times for the duration of full shifts or visits in the home. For further clarity this is required regardless of whether the home is in outbreak or not. During breaks, staff may remove their surgical/procedure mask but must remain two metres away from other staff to prevent staff to staff transmission of COVID-19. This is to be implemented in conjunction with all other requirements contained in Directive #3 dated July 15.
  • All health care workers or other employees who are within two metres of suspected, presumed or confirmed COVID-19 residents shall have access to appropriate PPE. This will include access to: surgical/procedure masks, fit tested NIOSH-approved N-95 respirators or approved equivalent or better protection, gloves, face shields with side protection (or goggles) and appropriate isolation gowns.
  • The point-of-care risk assessment by the health care worker should include the frequency and probability of routine or emergent Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures being required. N95 respirators, or approved equivalent or better protection, must be used by all health care workers in the room where Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures are being performed, are frequent or probable.
  • AGMPs include but are not limited to; intubation and related procedures (e.g. manual ventilation, open endotracheal suctioning), cardio pulmonary resuscitation during airway management, bronchoscopy, sputum induction, non-invasive ventilation (i.e. BiPAP), open respiratory/airway suctioning, high frequency oscillatory ventilation, tracheostomy care, nebulized therapy/aerosolized medication administration, high flow heated oxygen therapy devices (e.g. ARVO, optiflow) and autopsy. Any change to this list is to be based on the Technical Brief “Updated IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID-19” dated March 25, 2020 as amended from time to time which has been prepared by Public Health Ontario.

 

Ordering PPE for Retirement Homes (June 9)

A: Once a supply shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been identified, take the following steps:

  • Work with your regular supplier to determine when you will get regular shipments of PPE
  • Work with other local health care providers to determine if others in your local area have supplies they can provide you
  • Submit your request online through the Personal Protective Equipment Intake Form. Your Regional Table Lead will work with you to see if they can address the request within the region
  • If the need can not be addressed regionally, the Regional Table Lead will escalate your request to the Ministry Emergency Operations Centre (MEOC)

The province is taking action to procure PPE supplies in bulk. As of June 9, all retirement homes are required to report twice weekly (Monday and Thursday) on their PPE supplies through Ontario Public Health’s website here. The information received will be used to help the province identify current inventory status, forecast demand, inform procurement and allocation decisions and respond to emergency requests.

If you have questions, please email COVIDsupplies@ontariohealth.ca.

VISITORS

 

RHRA’s Scenario Matrix outlines the visitor scenarios for retirement homed based on the latest Policy to Implement Directive #3. Retirement homes are required to develop visitor policies that reflect their unique circumstances, comply with CMOH Directive #3 and the Retirement Homes Policy to Implement Directive #3.

RHRA Special Advisories

 

The RHRA also provides up-to-date information on COVID-19 through Special Advisories to our newsletter subscribers. Please email e-newsletter@rhra.ca to be added to the list.

September 17, 2021: Special Advisory: Expediting third doses of COVID-19 vaccine in higher-risk retirement homes

September 9, 2021: RHRA Update: Last Call – RHRA’s Recognition Event, COVID-19 Information and Resources for Homes

September 2, 2021: RHRA Update: Register for our Recognition Event, IPAC Guidelines Reminder and Where to Turn for Help

August 31, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: CMOH Instructions On Retirement Home Vaccination Policy And Data Collection

August 31, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: RHRA launches 2022 Fee Consultation

August 26, 2021: RHRA Update: RSVP for our Recognition Event and CAMs reminder

August 20, 2021: Special Advisory: Clarification On Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies In Retirement Homes

August 17, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: Ontario Implements Vaccination Policy For Licensed Retirement Homes

August 13, 2021: RHRA Update: Correction To Scenario Matrix, RHRA Recognition Event, ORCA Webinar, And Recruitment

August 6, 2021: RHRA Update: Election of New RHRA Board Directors

July 29, 2021: RHRA Update: Resident Champion, SAC Recruitment, and Scenario Matrix Reminder

July 29, 2021: Special Advisory: COVID-19 Immunization Policy For Retirement Home Staff And Volunteers

July 22, 2021: RHRA Update: Updated Scenario Matrix, Zero Outbreaks in Retirement Homes, and SAC

July 16, 2021: RHRA Update: CLARIFICATION: Eye Protection Requirement for Staff for Communal Dining  

July 15, 2021: RHRA Update: Correction to Absence Requirements, New Resources, and Save the Date!

July 14, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: Update To Directive #3 And The Policy To Implement Directive #3

July 8, 2021: RHRA Update: Keeping Both Residents and Staff Safe and Protected as Ontario Re-opens

June 30, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: Update To The Retirement Home Policy To Implement Directive #3

June 24, 2021: RHRA Update: Provincial Elections, Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen

June 18, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: Revocation Of Emergency Order For Transfer Of ALC Patients To Retirement Homes

June 17, 2021: RHRA Update Vaccine Strategy, Routine Inspections, CAMs And Resident Champion Award

June 10, 2021: RHRA Update: Risk Officer Re-Appointment, Resident Champions, Vaccine Webinar, Resident Network

June 7, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: Updated Retirement Home Policy To Implement Directive #3

June 4, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: Revised Directive #3 – Effective Wednesday June 9, 2021

June 3, 2021: RHRA Revocation of Emergency Order Provisions, Resident Champions, Resident Network 

June 2, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: Ontario Maintains COVID-19 Restrictions as Stay At Home Order Expires

May 27, 2021: RHRA Update: Updates to Provincial Testing Guidelines, Resident Champion and Resident Network

May 22, 2021: Special Advisory: Revised Directive #3 And Policy To Implement Directive #3

May 21, 2021: RHRA Update: Allowing ECPs In Homes And The RH Support Program

May 20, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: Allowing Social Outings/Outdoor Gatherings For Residents

May 14, 2021: Special Advisory: Updated Scenario Matrix Now Available

May 13, 2021: RHRA Update: Stay-At-Home Order, CAMs, And Resident Champion Nominations

May 11, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: IMPORTANT Crisis Support Fund Program For Retirement Homes

May 10, 2021: RHRA Special Advisory: Retirement Home Staff Eligibility For Second COVID-19 Vaccine

May 6, 2021: RHRA Update: Correction In The Retirement Homes Policy, Resident Champion, And RHRA Update

May 4, 2021: RHRA Update: Changes To Directive #3 And The Retirement Homes Visiting Policy

April 29, 2021: RHRA Update: Scenario Matrix, Directive 3/Orders Reminder, Resident Network and Resident Champions

April 29, 2021: Special Advisory: Emergency Order Amendment – Transfer of Hospital Patients to LTC/Retirement Homes

April 24, 2021: Special Advisory: Amendments To Emergency Orders

April 23, 2021: Special Advisory: Changes To Admissions And Transfers Under Directive #3

April 22, 2021: RHRA Update: Use Of Naloxone, RHRA CAMs, Elevator Safety And Vaccine Facts

April 7: Special Advisory: Ontario Enacts Provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order

April 1: Special Advisory: Upcoming Change To Directive #3

April 1: Special Advisory: All Public Health Units Move Into Shutdown

April 1: RHRA Update: IPAC Compliance Assistance Module And SAC Recruitment

March 25, 2021 RHRA Update: Revised RHRA Scenario Matrix

March 18, 2021: RHRA Update Ottawa Zone Change, Funding, Directive 5, Vaccine Update And Outbreak Data 

March 15, 2021 RHRA Update: RHRA To Post COVID-19 Resident And Staff Cases And Deaths Per Retirement Home

March 12, 2021 RHRA Special Advisory: Changes To COVID-19 Zones

March 9, 2021 RHRA Update: Public Health Regions Moved To New Levels In The COVID-19 Response Framework

March 4, 2021 RHRA Update: Reminder About Caregivers And Essential Absences, Vaccine Hesitancy, SAC Recruitment

February 26, 2021 RHRA Special Advisory: Potential Counterfeit N95 Masks

February 22, 2021 RHRA Update: Access To Personal Protective Equipment 

February 18, 2021 RHRA Special Advisory: Change to Provincial Framework and Transition of Stay at Home Order

February 15, 2021 RHRA Update: Information on Vaccination Sequencing for Phase One Priority Populations

February 11, 2021 RHRA Special Advisory: Vaccination Queue-Jumping In Retirement Homes

February 9, 2021 RHRA Special Advisory: Public Health Units to Gradually Return to the COVID-19 Response Framework

February 5, 2021 RHRA Update: RHRA Remembers Barbara Sullivan, Virtual Care Supports And Directive #5 Reminder

February 1, 2021 RHRA Special Advisory Revision to Provincial Emergency

January 26, 2021 RHRA Update: Update From January 22 On Ontario’s Vaccine Distribution Implementation Plan

January 25, 2021 RHRA Special Advisory: Update On COVID-19 Vaccine Administration In Retirement Homes

January 20, 2021 RHRA Update: Important Information and Resources for Homes

January 14, 2021 RHRA SPECIAL ADVISORY: Additional Vaccine Information For Retirement Homes

January 8, 2021 RHRA SPECIAL ADVISORY: Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Administration In Retirement Homes

December 23, 2020 RHRA Update: Reminder to homes about precautions for province-wide shutdown 

December 20, 2020 RHRA Special Advisory: Update on Ontario’s Vaccine Distribution Implementation Plan 

December 18, 2020 REMINDER: Check Your Home’s COVID-19 Zone Restrictions

December 17, 2020 RHRA Update: Staff Contingency Planning, COVID-19 Research Report And RHRA’s Resident Network

December 12, 2020 RHRA SPECIAL ADVISORY: Ontario’s Vaccine Distribution Implementation Plan

December 11, 2020 RHRA Reminder: Check your home’s COVID-19 zone restrictions

December 9, 2020 Special Advisory: Revised COVID-19 Visiting Policy

December 8, 2020: Revised Directive #3

December 7, 2020: Retirement Home COVID-19 Vaccination Survey

December 4, 2020 RHRA Update: PPE Survey and Reporting, Fee Schedule, Engagement with Partners and Resident Network

November 19, 2020 RHRA Update: New IPAC hubs and resources, ECP screening and consult line extension

November 11, 2020 IMPORTANT Update: Change in Timing for Alert Status Updates

November 11, 2020 RHRA Update: RHRA Launches Infection Prevention and Control Compliance Assistance Material

November 9, 2020 Special Advisory: RHRA Resumes Routine Inspections 

October 29, 2020 RHRA Update: Support for Access to N95 Fit Testing and Clarity on Essential Visitors

October 15, 2020 RHRA Update: Important Information and Reminders for Homes 

October 10, 2020 Special Advisory: Revised Directive #5

October 9, 2020 Special Advisory: IMPORTANT: New Alert Status System For Retirement Homes

October 5, 2020 Special Advisory: Retirement Home COVID-19 Visiting Policy 

October 1, 2020 RHRA Update: Important Information for Homes 

September 23, 2020 RHRA Update: RHRA’s COVID-19 Wave 2 Preparedness Webinar

September 21, 2020 RHRA Update: 2021 Fee Schedule and New Data on COVID-19 Dashboard

September 11, 2020 Special Advisory: IPAC Measures and COVID-19 Wave 2 Webinar 

September 8, 2020 Special Advisory: Updates to the Reopening Retirement Homes Guide 

September 3, 2020 Special Advisory: Updated Visitor Policy for Co-located Homes 

August 31, 2020 Special Advisory: COVID-19 Preparedness for Retirement Homes

August 27, 2020 Special Advisory: Passage of Bill 195 and RHRA Return to Normal Operations

July 28, 2020 Special Advisory: Clarification on COVID-19 Surveillance Testing for Residents

July 23, 2020 Special Advisory: Revisions to the Reopening Retirement Homes Guide

July 22, 2020 Special Advisory: RHRA launches COVID-19 dashboard and Update to Emergency Order

July 20, 2020 RHRA Update: RHRA’s Resident Champion Award, Pandemic Pay, Temperature Control and PPE Inventory

July 10, 2020 Special Advisory: Updated Guidance on Reopening Retirement Homes

June 30, 2020 RHRA Update: New RHRA Chair appointment, ORCA webinars and updated PPE inventory

June 23, 2020 Special Advisory: Clarification on visits and short absences

June 19, 2020 RHRA Update: Temporary Pandemic Pay Intake Form

June 19, 2020 RHRA Update: COVID-19 Pandemic Pay

June 15, 2020 RHRA Update: Online Reporting of Outbreaks to RHRA

June 14, 2020 Special Advisory: Preparing for Visitors 

June 12, 2020 Special Advisory: Reopening Retirement Homes: Guidance on Resuming Visits, Short Absences, New Admissions

June 11, 2020 Special Advisory: COVID-19 Testing for Retirement Homes

June 11, 2020 Special Advisory: Family visits can resume as of June 18

June 9, 2020 RHRA Update: Updates On PPE And Outbreak Reporting And Important Reminders 

June 1, 2020 RHRA Update: Temperature control during hot weather, Pandemic Pay, LHIN services and PPE

May 30, 2020 Special Advisory: Emergency Order and Important Changes to the Retirement Homes Act and Regulation

May 27, 2020 RHRA Update: Ontario Health Consult Line for Retirement Home Physicians, NPs and Medical Directors

May 26, 2020 RHRA Update: COVID-19 Testing Survey and Pandemic Pay Deadline

May 24, 2020 RHRA Update: DEADLINE EXTENDED: COVID-19 testing survey deadline revised to Monday, May 25 at 3 p.m.

May 23, 2020 RHRA Update: TIME SENSITIVE: RHRA Collecting Information to Facilitate COVID-19 Testing in Retirement Homes

May 22, 2020 RHRA Update: Important Updates to Directive #3 from the Chief Medical Officer of Health

May 21, 2020 RHRA Update: Pandemic Premium Pay and PPE Supplier Directory

May 20, 2020 RHRA Update: Reminder: Public Health Ontario COVID-19 webinar on healthcare worker PPE use and cohorting of residents in long-term care and retirement homes

May 19, 2020 RHRA Update: New webinars from Public Health Ontario and ORCA and a return to work toolkit from Ontario Health

May 14, 2020 RHRA Update: Important Updates and Information 

May 7, 2020 Special Advisory: Information on Pandemic pay, PPE orders and the PPE survey and the updated IPAC checklist

May 3, 2020 Special Advisory: Updated COVID-19 Testing Guidance

May 2, 2020 Special Advisory: Public Health Ontario Infection Prevention and Control Checklist

April 30, 2020 Special Advisory: RHRA Update: Important Reminders and Information

April 29, 2020 Special Advisory: Important Announcement from the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility

April 24, 2020 Special Advisory: Residents Returning from Hospital, Online Hub for PPE Supplies and PHO Webinar 

April 23, 2020 Special Advisory: COVID-19 Reminders & Information for Homes

April 17, 2020 Special Advisory: Emergency Order Limiting Retirement Home Employees to a Single Work Location  

April 17, 2020 Special Advisory: FAQs on Testing Guidance for Retirement Homes & Infographic Guide on PPE

April 16, 2020 Special Advisory: IMPORTANT UPDATES from the Chief Medical Officer and Ministry of Health

April 16, 2020 NEW SESSIONS ADDED: COVID-19 Webinar for Retirement Homes & REMINDER: Complete the PPE survey for retirement homes 

April 15, 2020 Special Advisory: COVID-19 Webinar for Retirement Homes & Emergency COVID-19 Funding Available Through ORCA

April 13, 2020 Special Advisory: Office of the Chief Coroner’s Guidance on Managing Resident Deaths

April 12, 2020 Special Advisory: Emergency order issued under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act O. Reg 140/20

April 11, 2020 Special Advisory: Ordering PPE for Retirement Homes 

April 10, 2020 Special Advisory: UPDATED Chief Medical Officer of Health Directives for PPE in Retirement Homes

April 9, 2020 Special Advisory: UPDATED Directives from the Chief Medical Officer of Health 

April 8, 2020 Special Advisory: Licensees must report COVID-19 outbreaks to RHRA

April 3, 2020 Special Advisory: Notification on Regulation Change: 118/20

March 31, 2020 Special Advisory: Updated precautions and procedures to be implemented immediately by all retirement homes

March 24, 2020 Special Advisory: COVID-19 Tests for Retirement Home Residents

March 23, 2020 Special Advisory: NEW: Chief Medical Officer’s Directives on Residents Leaving Retirement Homes 

March 22, 2020 Special Advisory: Emergency amendments to Retirement Homes Act, 2010 related to Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations for retirement homes

March 19, 2020 Special Advisory: Chief Medical Officer provides recommendations on managing health worker illness and return to work

March 17, 2020 Special Advisory: COVID-19 FAQs Available on RHRA Website

March 16, 2020 Special Advisory: ORCA Offers Free COVID-19 Operations Resources and Industry Webinar to All Licensed Retirement Homes

March 15, 2020 Special Advisory: Message from RHRA CEO and Registrar regarding COVID-19 Response

March 14, 2020 Special Advisory: RHRA Provides Clarification on Expectations Regarding Visitors to Retirement Homes

March 13, 2020 Special Advisory: RHRA Clarifies Expectations for Retirement Homes Regarding Active Screening for COVID-19

March 10, 2020 Special Advisory: RHRA Advises Retirement Homes to Immediately Begin Active Screening for COVID-19

March 8, 2020 Special Advisory: COVID-19 (coronavirus) preparedness reminder and resources

January 27, 2020 Special Edition RHRA Update: COVID-19 coronavirus

COVID-19 RESOURCES

 

informational links

COVID-19 Vaccine Consent Form – August 17, 2021 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet – August 20, 2021 

Immunization Policy – Information NoteJuly 29, 2021

Webinar: ORCA COVID-19 Vaccination PlanningJanuary 13, 2021

Government of Ontario COVID-19 Portal – updated daily at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

COVID-19 Affected Areas List – updated daily

Case Definition – Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – May 11, 2020

Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) COVID-19 Portal – updated daily

AdvantAge Ontario COVID-19 Portal

Long-Term Care and Retirement Home Consult Line for Physicians, NPs and Medical Directors 

 

government directives

Directive #3 from the Chief Medical Officer of Health –  July 15, 2021

Retirement Homes Policy to Implement Directive #3July 16, 2021

Directive #5 from the Chief Medical Officer of Health – April 7, 2021

Directive #1 from the Chief Medical Officer of Health – Health Care Providers – March 30, 2020

 

memos from the chief medical officer of health or the ministry of health

Joint Memo to LTHCs, RHs, PHUs Re Target Date for Third Doses – September 17, 2021

Memo re Third doses of COVID-19 Vaccine for Long-Term Care Homes and Higher-Risk Licensed Retirement HomesAugust 23, 2021 

Memo re: O.Reg. 317/21 (Agreements Between Health Service Providers and Retirement HomesJune 18, 2021

Memo re: O. Reg. 272-21 271-21 AmendmentsJune 2, 2021

Memo re: Supporting Placement of Alternate Level of Care Patients in Retirement Homes 

Memo re: Amendment to O Reg 272-21April 28, 2021

Memo re: Pfizer Dosing Intervals – January 27, 2021

Memo from General HillierJanuary 26, 2021

Memo to all Retirement Home Licensees re: VaccinationsJanuary 25, 2021

Memo to all Retirement Home Licensees re: VaccinationsJanuary 14, 2021

Memo to Retirement Homes re: Moderna 2021January 8, 2021

Memo To Board Chairs and Chief Executive Officers of Ontario Public HospitalsJanuary 8, 2021

Memo To Health Sector: Updates to PPE ProcessNovember 23, 2020

Memo – Appendix A: Instructions on Requesting Provincial Fit Testing SupportOctober 29, 2020

Memo – Appendix B: Continuum of Actions and Supports – October 29, 2020

Memo – Fit TestingOctober 29, 2020

Memo Update #5: Health System COVID-19 Pandemic Response June 22, 2020

Memo COVID-19 Testing for Retirement Homes  June 9, 2020

Memo Additional Direction on Testing Strategy May 24, 2020

Memo – Transfer of Hospital Patients and Community Clients to Long-Term Care Homes   April 30, 2020

Memo – Temporary Pause on Transitioning Hospital Patients to Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes  – April 15, 2020

Memo – Managing Health Worker Illness and Return to Work – March 19, 2020 

Memo – Visitors – March 13, 2020

 

rhra guidance for retirement homes

RHRA Guidance: Implementation of CMOH Instructions for Mandatory Vaccination Policies in Retirement HomesSeptember 16, 2021 

RHRA Recommendation for Asymptomatic COVID-19 Screen Testing for Retirement HomesJuly 15, 2021

IPAC Compliance Assistance Guidelines – November 11, 2020 

RHRA COVID-19 Wave 2 Preparedness Webinar – September 24, 2020  

RHRA/Deloitte Summary of Government Support for Retirement Homes – April 20, 2020

RHRA Guidance on Ontario Regulation 158/20  April 17, 2020

RHRA Guidance on Ontario Regulation 140/20  April 12, 2020 

RHRA Guidance on Ontario Regulation 118/20  April 3, 2020

 

Government guidance documents

Summary of Changes to Testing Guidance for the Retirement Homes SectorAugust 31, 2021

Instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of HealthAugust 31, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Recommendations for Special PopulationsAugust 17, 2021 

COVID-19 vaccine management onboarding packageJune 14, 2021 

COVID-19 Provincial Testing Guidance Update  May 26, 2021

COVID-19 Quick Reference Public Health Guidance on Testing and ClearanceMay 26, 2021

Vaccine Roll-out PrioritiesFebruary 14, 2021

Prioritization for HCWsFebruary 9, 2021

Update COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task ForceJanuary 26, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccines for Ontario FactsheetJanuary 14, 2021 

How To Guide Health SectorNovember 23, 2020

Guidance on Use of Reusable Elastomeric RespiratorsOctober 29, 2020

COVID-19 Testing Guidance UpdateAugust 14, 2020

COVID-19 Quick Reference Public Health Guidance on Testing and Clearance – June 25, 2020 

Pandemic Pay Payroll Administration – June 18, 2020

COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Guidance June 9, 2020 

Implementing COVID-19 Provincial Testing Guidance Retirement Homes April 16, 2020

COVID-19 Outbreak Guidance for Long-Term Care Homes  April 15, 2020

Guidance for Mask Use in Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes  April 15, 2020

COVID-19 Guidance Use of Hotels and Retirement Homes – April 2, 2020 

COVID-19 Guidance – Information on use of N95 Masks Beyond Shelf Life  March 27 2020

COVID-19 Guidance – Food Premises – March 24, 2020

 

tools, checklists & posters

FAQs: Third Dose of COVID-19 VaccinesAugust 23, 2021 

Guidance for Provision of Doses to Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes (Readiness Checklist) – June 10, 2021 

Scenario MatrixJuly 16, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Readiness (Moderna) WebinarJanuary 12, 2021

COVax Users Template for Retirement HomesJanuary 8, 2021

Vaccine Participants Template for Retirement HomesJanuary 8, 2021

Checklist for Moderna Vaccinations in Long-Term Care and Retirement HomesJanuary 8, 2021

Pfizer and Moderna Consent FormJanuary 8, 2021

ORCA COVID-19 Staffing Contingency Plan GuideNovember 2020

Importance of Staff Contingency Plans to Manage COVID-19December 17, 2020

Updates, Tips & TricksNovember 23, 2020

COVID-19 Preparedness Self-Assessment for Retirement Homes – August 31

Retirement Home Visitors Posters July 22, 2020

COVID-19 Test Requisition Instructions June 11, 2020

COVID-19 Screening Tool for Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes May 6, 2020 

COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Checklist for Retirement Homes April 29, 2020 

Updated IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID-19 – ENGLISH March 12, 2020

Updated IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID-19 – FRENCH March 12, 2020

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A retirement home

There are more than 700 licensed retirement homes in Ontario. Let us help you find the one that’s right for you.


Status of home

Search the Retirement Home Database for a complete history of a retirement home's compliance with the Act.

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Types of homes

If you've never lived in a retirement home or haven’t needed long-term care, you may not be aware of the difference between the two. Here is what you need to know.

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I'm not sure how to get started

Here, we’ll provide tools to help support your research.

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Steps to getting a licence

Get started on the licensing process and find out what you will need to submit an application.


Guidelines

As of July 1, 2012, homes that meet the definition of “retirement home” in the Act must have a licence from the RHRA to operate.

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Process

To assist you with the application process, the RHRA has put together an Applicant Guide. The Guide introduces you to the forms, supporting documents and fees that must be submitted.

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Fees

Review the 2018 Fee Schedule before submitting your application.

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Complaints & reporting harm

Reporting harm is a shared duty. Certain situations involving harm or risk of harm to any resident must be reported immediately by law. Here’s how to report harm or potential harm.


How to File a Report

Find out what constitutes harm and what you need to do if you see or suspect harm.

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RHRA Process

Find out what happens after the report has been made.

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Mandatory Reporting

What must you report and why.

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More information about RHRA

Understand our role, what we stand for and how we enforce ‘the Act’.


How we help

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Our Vision, Mission and Values

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Understanding the Legislature

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A retirement home

A retirement home 1

There are over 700 licensed retirement homes in Ontario. Let us help you find the one that’s right for you.


#ICON

Status of home

Search the Retirement Home Database for a complete history of a retirement home's compliance with the Act.

Read More
#ICON

Types of homes

If you've never lived in a retirement home or haven’t needed long-term care, you may not be aware of the difference between the two. Here is what you need to know.

Read More
#ICON

I’m not sure how to start

Here, we’ll provide tools to help support your research.

Read More

A retirement home 1

There are over 700 licensed retirement homes in Ontario. Let us help you find the one that’s right for you.


#ICON

Status of home

Search the Retirement Home Database for a complete history of a retirement home's compliance with the Act.

Read More
#ICON

Types of homes

If you've never lived in a retirement home or haven’t needed long-term care, you may not be aware of the difference between the two. Here is what you need to know.

Read More
#ICON

I’m not sure how to start

Here, we’ll provide tools to help support your research.

Read More

A retirement home 1

There are over 700 licensed retirement homes in Ontario. Let us help you find the one that’s right for you.


#ICON

Status of home

Search the Retirement Home Database for a complete history of a retirement home's compliance with the Act.

Read More
#ICON

Types of homes

If you've never lived in a retirement home or haven’t needed long-term care, you may not be aware of the difference between the two. Here is what you need to know.

Read More
#ICON

I’m not sure how to start

Here, we’ll provide tools to help support your research.

Read More

A retirement home 1

There are over 700 licensed retirement homes in Ontario. Let us help you find the one that’s right for you.


#ICON

Status of home

Search the Retirement Home Database for a complete history of a retirement home's compliance with the Act.

Read More
#ICON

Types of homes

If you've never lived in a retirement home or haven’t needed long-term care, you may not be aware of the difference between the two. Here is what you need to know.

Read More
#ICON

I’m not sure how to start

Here, we’ll provide tools to help support your research.

Read More
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