Mask mandates return to Ontario long-term care amid spike in COVID-19, respiratory illness cases – CTV

Nov. 14, 2023

Masking requirements are back for long-term care staff in Ontario amid an uptick of COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in the sector.

The new rules went into effect on Nov. 7 and impact staff, volunteers and support workers, who will now have to wear masks indoors in all resident areas.

The directive says it is “strongly recommended” that caregivers and visitors wear masks indoors, except when in a resident’s room or when eating or drinking.

A Public Health Ontario report published on the day the new masking rules went into effect says there have been 7,157 cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff so far in 2023.

There were 181 resident hospitalizations and 106 deaths.

In retirement homes, there were 3,884 cases of COVID-19, 172 hospitalizations and 21 deaths.

The report shows a significant increase in the number of respiratory virus outbreaks over September and October in long-term care.

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