Retirement Home (Lodge) Visitors Policy

The health and safety of our residents, their family members, and our team members are the primary concern of Jarlette Health Services, each and every day. The following Retirement Home (Lodge) Visitors policy applies to retirement homes (which we refer to as lodges!) operated by Jarlette Health Services. You are encouraged to reach out directly to a home prior to your visit for up-to-date information, including the outbreak status and with any questions you may have.

Retirement Home COVID-19 Visitor Policy

Information Package for visitors

As part of the lodges' policy on visits during COVID-19 all visitors will be provided with this information package, including education on all required protocols. Visitor procedures were based on the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility COVID-19 Guidance Document for Retirement Homes in Ontario (March 29, 2023) and the MOH�s COVID-19 Guidance: LTCH/RH/CLS for PHUs (January 18, 2023) and the Memo from The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility to Retirement Homes.


Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Practices

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) refers to evidence-based practices and procedures that, when applied consistently in health care settings, can prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of microorganisms to residents, staff and visitors.

All visitors must follow the lodge�s infection and prevention control protocols (IPAC), including proper use of masks.

IPAC practices include:

  1. Hand hygiene program
  2. Screening and surveillance of infections
  3. Environmental cleaning procedures that reflect best infection control practices
  4. Use of personal protective equipment
  5. Outbreak detection and management
  6. Additional precautions specific to prevent the spread of infection
  7. Ongoing education on infection control
  8. Vaccination program

Read more about best practices for infection prevention and control here (Source: Public Health Ontario)

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is a general term referring to any action of hand cleaning and is a fundamental component of infection prevention and control. Touching your eyes, nose or mouth without cleaning your hands or sneezing or coughing into your hands may provide an opportunity for germs to get into your body. Keeping your hands clean through good hygiene practice is one of the most important steps to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.

  • Handwashing with soap and running water, as opposed to using hand sanitizer, must be done when hands are visibly soiled. Hand hygiene with soap and water � done correctly � removes organisms.
  • Hand sanitizers with 70-90% alcohol may be used when your hands are not visibly dirty. Hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand sanitizer � correctly applied � kills organisms in seconds.

All visitors must perform hand hygiene prior to beginning each visit with a resident and if at any time their hands become soiled during the visit. Wash or sanitize your hands at the end of the visit as well.

Video: How to Hand Wash

Follow these steps:

Screening Visitors for COVID-19

1. Active Screening - is no longer required

2. Passive Screening- means that those entering the home review screening questions themselves, and there is no verification or attestation of screening required by staff (e.g., signage at entrances as a visual reminder not to enter if symptomatic).

  • Anyone entering the retirement home is required to conduct passive screening, independently, prior to entry into the home
  • Each home will communicate to visitors that they are not to enter the home if they are feeling ill or would fail screening (e.g., they have tested positive in the last 10 days or are symptomatic).
  • Each Home will post signage that lists the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for self monitoring and steps that must be taken if COVID-19 is suspected or confirmed.
  • Each home will share The Ministry of Health�s COVID-19 Screening Tool for Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes and ensure it remains available to help facilitate the home�s screening process.

Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


Using, applying, and removing PPE correctly is critical to reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Prior to visiting any resident for the first time the lodge should provide training to visitors who are not trained as part of their service provision or through their employment. Training must address how to safely provide direct care, including putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) required PPE, and hand hygiene.

Public Health Ontario:

Recommended Steps: Putting on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


Putting on Full Personal Protective Equipment

Taking off Full Personal Protective Equipment

Taking off Mask and Eye Protection

Essential Visitors:

Essential visitors are responsible for bringing their own PPE, but the lodge will provide PPE to those essential visitors that can�t acquire PPE independently. Homes must intervene and reinforce appropriate uses of PPE if improper practices are alleged or observed. Essential Visitors must also follow staff reminders and coaching on proper use of PPE.

General Visitors and Personal Care Service Providers:

General Visitors and Personal Care Service Providers must wear a medical mask for indoor visits and should either bring their own mask or be provided one by the home. General Visitors are not required to wear a mask while outdoors. Homes must intervene and reinforce appropriate uses of PPE if improper practices are alleged or observed. General Visitors must also follow staff reminders and coaching on proper use of PPE.



  • The lodge must ensure that visitors wear a medical mask for the duration of their visit indoors.
  • Visitors may remove their masks if they are visiting in a resident�s room.


  • Masks are not required outdoors for visitors. However, it is still encouraged when, and if, in close proximity to others.


Exceptions to the masking requirements include:

  • Children who are younger than two years of age;
  • Any individual who is being accommodated in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 or the Ontario Human Rights Code; or
  • If entertainment provided by a live performer (that is, a visitor) requires the removal of their mask to perform their talent.

Complaints Process

Should a visitor have a complaint about the administration of the lodge�s visiting policy, they may contact the General Manager and the complaint will be responded to in a timely manner. If your concern is not resolved to your satisfaction with the lodge�s management team, visitors may contact the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) by email ([email protected]) and/or phone (1-855-275-7472).

Other Health & Safety Procedures

Compliance with Policy

All visitors must review the Information Package for Visitors prior to their visit and comply with visiting procedures. Public health measures, as well as all applicable laws, must be practiced at all times and failure to comply with the lodge�s visiting policies may result in the discontinuation of visit(s) when risk of harm from continual non-compliance is considered too high. Refusal of entry will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the General Manager.

Limiting Movement in the Home

All visitors have a crucial role to play in reducing risk of infection for the safety of residents and staff by adhering to requirements outlined in this policy, including screening. All Visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, will be actively screened at the beginning of their visit to be permitted entry. Visitors will not be permitted access if they do not pass screening, unless an exemption applies as noted in this policy (e.g., first responders, visitors for palliative end-of-life residents, if resident care cannot be maintained as assessed by the residence).

The number of visitors per resident are set out in the residence�s visiting policy. The local public health unit (PHU) may advise further restrictions on visitors in part or all of the residence depending on the specific situation. Visitors must abide by any restrictions imposed by a PHU, which override any requirements or permissions in this policy if there is a conflict.

Residents who are isolating under Droplet and Contact Precautions may only receive Essential Visitors (e.g., residents may not receive General Visitors or Personal Care Service Providers).

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