Ontario, Canada Announces Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Requirements for Long-term Care Homes

With the Delta variant putting residents and staff in long-term care homes at risk of contracting COVID-19, on October 1, 2021, Ontario announced certain mandatory vaccination and randomized testing requirements.  

Mandatory Vaccination

Commencing November 15, 2021, unless in-home staff, support workers, students, and volunteers can show proof that they have received all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or proof of a valid medical exemption, they will not be able to enter a long-term care home to work. 

Newly hired staff must be fully vaccinated before they begin working in a home unless they have a valid medical exemption. 

Fully vaccinated staff will continue to be able to work in more than one long-term care home, retirement home or other health care provider setting. 

Randomized Testing

To help detect possible breakthrough cases of COVID-19, random testing of fully vaccinated individuals, including staff, caregivers and visitors, will begin as early as possible. Regular testing of unvaccinated individuals will also continue.

In addition, testing teams will be sent into homes to validate the results reported to the province.   

Finally, inspections of the infection, prevention and control measures in homes will be increased.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.