The City of Ottawa is asking family members to stop window visits with loved ones at city-owned long-term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some family members said that window visits were their only connection to parents, grandparents, siblings and friends after the facility visits were banned.
But City of Ottawa director of long-term care Dean Lett says the decision to limit the number of visitors to the home grounds is to “prioritize the safety and health of residents and staff.”
“More and more residents are taking advantage of the warmer weather to go outside to get some fresh air and soak up the sun,” Lett said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.
“We have experienced a number of situations where families have come and failed to meet the physical distance requirements, as reported by public health agencies.”
Lett says the City of Ottawa has deployed additional staff to long-term care homes and increased access to technology to help residents stay in touch with loved ones via Skype, phone calls, emails and letters.
COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported in two long-term care homes owned by the City of Ottawa after staff members tested positive – Garry J. Armstrong House and Peter D. Clark House.
Lett says the city must do everything it can to protect staff and residents.
“Given the effects of the virus on long-term care homes across the country, we have a responsibility to do everything to minimize the risk of COVID-19 entering homes and to protect the safety of residents and the staff. . “