Pandemic Response System

Protocols for Personal Care Homes

Each personal care home has developed a plan to address COVID-19. These plans can quickly be put in place. When a single case (resident, staff, volunteer or visitor) of COVID-19 is identified at a personal care home, the site works with public health officials and infection control professionals to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Plans can be updated as needed based on advice from these officials.

In addition to current measures in place to prevent COVID-19 outbreak, several additional measures may be taken during an outbreak in a personal care home, depending on the identified risk.  Any measures that are put in place are done to protect vulnerable residents and staff while taking their well-being into consideration.

Measures that may be implemented based on the identified risk include:

  • ensuring residents with symptoms remain in their rooms, with delivered meals and access to a dedicated bathroom;
  • putting droplet/contact precautions in place, including considering what kinds of medical procedures take place to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus;
  • enhancing environmental cleaning and disinfection in consultation with infection prevention and control experts, with increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces and equipment;
  • immediately undertaking contact tracing of individuals (staff and residents) with potential exposure to the case, with public health, infection prevention and control and occupational health officials taking part in the process; 
  • cancelling group activities and social gatherings;
  • considering how new admissions are handled;
  • increasing the frequency of active screening for COVID-19 symptoms in residents;
  • increasing the frequency of active screening for COVID-19 symptoms in staff, which may include establishing screening stations or one-on-one screening;
  • implementing resident and staff co-horting, if required; and
  • implementing visitor restrictions as per policies and practices in place (