COVID-19 information for Long-term Care and Retirement Homes settings

Last revised on September 22, 2021

The long-term care home (LTCH) and retirement home (RH) sectors are critical stakeholders in the response to COVID-19. Residents of these institutions are particularly vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID-19. Efforts to keep COVID-19 out of these institutions, early detection of COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 vaccination in institutions are vital to COVID-19 prevention and control. 

On this page:

  1. Chief Medical Officer of Health Directives
  2. Ontario Ministry of Health & Public Health Ontario – Guidance and Resources 
  3. Memorandums
  4. Vaccination
  5. Testing
  6. Personal Protective Equipment
  7. COVID-19 Signage

1. Chief Medical Officer of Health Directives

2. Ontario Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario Guidance Documents and Resources

3. Memorandums

4. Vaccination

All LTCH and RHs who have the clinical capacity to immunize are eligible to order COVID-19 vaccine for administration to eligible staff and residents within their facility.  

Facilities ordering vaccine are responsible to ensure a plan is in place to use all doses ordered to reduce potential vaccine wastage.  Facilities who do not have enough eligible residents or staff to use entire vials of vaccine can contact OPH IPAC phone line at 613-580-2424 ext. 26325 or via email at IPAC/PCI@ottawa.ca for guidance.

Vaccine Ordering Process

LTCH and RH operators can order vaccine and vaccination supplies by completing the COVID-19 Vaccine Order Form. LTCH and RH who are unable to access the form can call the OPH IPAC phone line at 613.580.2424 ext. 26325 for assistance.

OPH will arrange delivery of vaccine on the date indicated on the COVID-19 Vaccine Order Form submitted. Deliveries can only be scheduled on business days and facilities must be prepared to use the vaccine on the same day as delivery.  

Note: Requests for vaccine must be submitted a minimum of two business days prior to the planned vaccine administration date and are based on vaccine availability.

COVaxON requirements & educational resources

COVaxON

COVaxON is Ontario’s provincial vaccination database for COVID-19 vaccines. All doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered must be documented in the COVaxON system. Please ensure that your facility has active access to COVaxON prior to the day of your vaccination event.

COVaxON Training Support for Ottawa-area Homes 

COVax SharePoint Site was developed for training purposes and gives COVax users who are registered under OPH’s authorized organization (AO) access to various COVax training materials, including demo session recordings, weekly provincial go-live training schedules, learning modules, job aids, tailored user training roadmaps, system change and so much more.

Should you require Training support and access to the SharePoint please contact covaxon@ottawa.ca.

COVaxON Concierge Service for Ottawa-area Homes

Additional on-boarding & training assistance is available exclusively to new COVax users. Should you require additional support, please fill out the COVax Concierge Service Request Form and someone from the OPH COVax Support Team will contact you. PLEASE NOTE: This mailbox is monitored Monday- Friday between 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

COVaxON Technical Support

The provincial COVaxON portal will assist with COVaxON Application and User Management support. Contact information is as follows: Phone: (416) 637-8672 or Toll Free 1-888-333-0640. Email: COvaxonsupport@ontario.ca. The support hours are 7:00 am to 8:00 pm, 7 days a week.

COVID-19 Immunization Information for Immunizers 

Below are links to COVID-19 vaccine-relevant resources for immunizers. These include guidance for health care providers related to administration, special recommendations as well as anaphylaxis and adverse event management. Please visit the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Website for additional information. 

Pfizer-BioNTech

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine 

Mixed COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Schedules

Printed confirmation of vaccination

Do you have staff or residents that require a printed confirmation of their vaccination status?  Individuals can review and print a confirmation that they have received their vaccine through the Ontario COVID-19 Vaccination portal.

Educational resource for staff who are vaccine hesitant or decline COVID-19 vaccination

As of September 7th, 2021, it is mandatory for community care service providers, such as those working in LTCH, RH, and congregate living facilities (such as group homes and shelters), to have COVID-19 immunization policies in place for staff.  As part of these policies, staff who decline vaccination must participate in COVID-19 vaccination education. 

Visit the OPH YouTube channel to access a vaccination education video for staff

Adverse Events

Additional Resources 

COVID-19 Vaccination Recommendations for Special Populations

Guidance document from the Ministry of Health outlining currently available scientific knowledge for COVID-19 vaccination in special populations and expert clinician advice. 

MOHLTC COVID-19 Vaccine Promotion Toolkit

A toolkit to help boost vaccination rates in LTCH and RH. The kit contains a welcome letter, posters, fact sheets, tips for holding effective conversations, an FAQ, and more. The toolkit is available in English, French and 10 other languages.  

5.Testing

6. Personal Protective Equipment

7. COVID-19 Signage

OPH has sent several ERMS to long-term care homes and retirement homes. More information can be found on the  Recent Public Health Alerts Issued By Ottawa Public Health ERMS please see this link.

To report an outbreak for any disease during regular business hours, or for more information, call 613-580-2424 ext. 26325, or in the evening, on weekends or holidays, call 3-1-1 and ask to speak with the Public Health Inspector on-call. 

Contact Information

Provincial Vaccine Information Line

  • 7 days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm
  • Call if you have questions about Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination program.
  • Service is available in multiple languages.
  • Telephone: 1-888-999-6488
  • TTY: 1-866-797-0007

Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 Telephone Line

  • Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 4:30 pm
  • Translation is available in multiple languages
  • Telephone: 613-580-6744 follow the prompts to the COVID-19 telephone line
  • TTY: 613-580-9656

Emergency Services

  • If you are in distress (e.g., significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), do not go to the Assessment Centre or a COVID-19 Care clinic. Go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.

See someone not respecting COVID-19 rules?

How to access help during COVID-19

  • 211 Ontario can help you find financial and social support during COVID-19
  • Telephone: 2-1-1

Related Information

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