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No more outings for residents of long-term care homes in Toronto, Peel region, Ottawa

Last Updated Oct 14, 2020 at 8:02 pm EDT

Patient transport attendants disinfect a stretcher after working at the Madonna Care Community in Ottawa, a long-term care facility experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19, on Sunday, May 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Residents of long-term care homes in three Ontario regions where COVID-19 cases are surging won’t be allowed to go out for social or personal reasons as of Friday.

The provincial government says short-term and temporary absences for medical or compassionate reasons, however, will still be allowed.

The new restrictions will apply to long-term care homes in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa, and will remain in place until further notice.

Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton says the changes may be difficult for residents and families affected, but its priority has to be keeping everyone in the homes safe.

Those wanting to visit loved ones in a home are urged to call ahead to make sure the facility is free of outbreaks and confirm visiting policies and restrictions.

The province says measures regarding long-term care will be updated as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.