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Outdoor visits allowed starting Saturday at Ontario long-term care homes

An exterior view of the Camilla Care Community Long-Term Care centre in Mississauga. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera

Friends and family can visit outdoors with Ontario long-term care residents starting on Saturday.

The associate deputy minister of long-term care announced the change in a Friday memo to licensees.

Erin Hannah says the change is being made to align with loosening provincial rules around outdoor activities that take effect at midnight.

Homes are being asked to communicate with communities about how to book visits and about public health measures still in effect, such as masks and physical distancing.

A maximum of two general visitors are allowed per resident at one time, in addition to designated essential caregivers.

Hannah’s memo says outdoor visits can happen in the vicinity of the home if the facility doesn’t have suitable outdoor space.

The news comes as Ontario reports a record-high number of COVID-19 vaccine doses given out in a single day.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 158,524 shots were administered in Ontario since Thursday’s report.

More than 7.7 million doses have been administered in Ontario overall.

The province reported 1,890 new cases of COVID-19 and 27 more deaths from the virus on Friday.

The Ministry of Health said 1,265 people were in hospital with the virus as of Friday morning, including 715 in intensive care and 510 on ventilators.