Visiting during COVID-19

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Visiting during COVID-19

We look forward to seeing you at our long-term care home, the Gardens! If you plan to visit, please note that certain entry requirements may be in place, in accordance to Toronto Public Health recommendations. Thank you for doing your part in helping to keep our community safe.  

Last updated: November 30, 2023 

Visitor Policies

Respiratory illnesses like influenza and COVID-19 can spread rapidly during the colder months. The safety of our residents, volunteers and staff is our top priority. That’s why we follow all guidance from the Ministry of Long-Term Care and Toronto Public Health regarding Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures, and also take additional steps to protect our community.  

According to a November 2 memo from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, recent trends have shown a moderate to high level of community transmission of COVID-19 and an increase in outbreaks in long-term care homes. This has led to an increased risk of hospitalization amongst residents. It is projected that COVID-19 activity may peak in the next few weeks, around the same time it is anticipated that influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) will rise. 

We all have a part to play in reducing the risk of outbreaks of respiratory illness. Visitors can help keep everyone safe by following these practices: 

  • Before visiting, please check your symptoms by doing a self-assessment. If you are currently experiencing any symptoms mentioned on the self-screening poster, such as fever, cough, or sore throat, please postpone your visit until you are symptom free.    

  • All visitors to The Gardens are currently required to wear a mask at all times, except when visiting a resident in their room on an outbreak-free Resident Home Area (RHA) or when eating or drinking with a resident in communal spaces. 

  • Pay extra attention to hand hygiene. 

  • Stay up-to-date on your influenza, COVID-19 and other vaccinations. 

From time to time, the Gardens may experience outbreaks, which will affect the policies and practices we use to keep everyone safe. Our current outbreak status is listed below.  An outbreak is defined as one or more residents testing positive for a respiratory illness. The following additional requirements are in place for RHAs that are experiencing an outbreak. 

  • When a floor is experiencing a suspected COVID-19 outbreak, all visitors must wear both a surgical mask and eye protection. Only Essential Caregivers (ECGs) may visit a resident who has tested positive for COVID-19 while they are isolating – general visitors are not permitted. Essential Caregivers are up to two people previously-identified by the resident or their Power of Attorney (POA). 

  • When a floor is experiencing a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, only Essential Caregivers can visit, and are provided an N95 mask and eye protection. Per Toronto Public Health guidelines, general visitors are not able to visit the affected floor during an outbreak. 

  • Please see the nursing station on the RHA for an N95 mask, eye shield or additional PPE as required. 

We know that this can be challenging for residents, families, and visitors. We appreciate your patience, understanding, and support as we all work together to protect our community. 

For more information contact:  Bernadett Bondar, Infection Prevention and Control Program Lead 

Gardens Current Outbreak Status

North Building:

2-East: A confirmed COVID-19 outbreak was declared on November 16, 2023 by Toronto Public Health. As of November 29, it is declared over.

South Building:

Please wear a N95 mask and face shield on this RHA:

3-East: A confirmed COVID-19 outbreak was declared on November 27, 2023 by Toronto Public Health.

Recommendations for Visitors and ECGs:  

  • Masks are required in both North and South Buildings    

  • Please see the nursing station on the RHA for an N95 mask and additional PPE (gowns, shields, etc.).  

  • Essential Caregivers (ECGs) are allowed to come into the home at any time. Visitors are not allowed to visit a confirmed outbreak RHA.

  • Essential Caregiver (ECGs) and Visitors can remove their masks while visiting a resident in their room if the resident is not isolating.       

  • Essential Caregivers (ECGs) and Visitors may enter the building if they aren’t ill and must follow all IPAC practices.  

More About Essential Caregivers

To designate an essential caregiver, we ask that you complete this Essential Caregiver Request form and submit it to Kensington.

For questions about designating an essential caregiver, please contact us at 

Please note: 

  • There is a limit of 4 essential caregivers per resident. 

  • Essential caregivers must be at least 16 years of age.  

  • Essential caregivers will be allowed to visit only one resident at a time if a unit is on Outbreak. 


We encourage you to read the resources below in advance of your visit.