Seniors in long-term care homes can receive visits from caregivers over the holidays, minister says

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Quebec's minister responsible for seniors, Marguerite Blais, says residents of long-term care facilities in red zones will be allowed to have one caregiver visit every 24 hours over the holidays.

Seniors living in long-term care homes in orange zones will be allowed up to two caregiver visitors at a time in a period of 24 hours during the Dec. 17 to Jan. 11 "pause" announced by Quebec Premier François Legault Tuesday.

The caregivers must be known to the long-term care home and are asked to call and schedule their visits beforehand.

Legault said Tuesday that people living alone would be able to join one family's bubble over the holidays, but Blais said Wednesday those people would have to voluntarily isolate for one week afterward to make sure they didn't catch the virus.

Blais also said she was encouraging seniors across the province to rely on technology to see family, as much as possible.

"As we know, it is the elderly who are most affected by COVID-19 complications. The pandemic hit their living environments the hardest during the first wave and that is why we must respond as soon as possible," Blais said.

"There is a sharp rise in cases right now and the situation remains very worrying despite the vaccination efforts, which are just beginning."