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New long-term care restrictions start today, here's what you need to know

Province pausing general visitor access, day absences
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With the Omicron variant leading to a record number of daily COVID-19 cases, Ontario is making temporary changes at long-term care homes.

Starting today (Thursday, Dec. 30) there are two new rules in effect. 

General visitors will not be allowed access to long-term care homes. Designated caregivers are allowed to continue entering the facilities. 

Day absences for social purposes are also paused for all residents.

Earlier this month, the province put in place other changes, including testing fully vaccinated visitors and staff at long-term care and retirement homes.

Yesterday, Ontario reported a record 10,436 COVID-19 cases. At that time, there were 726 people in hospital testing positive for the virus, including 190 people in ICU.

Ontario's chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore was slated to talk about new rules on COVID-19 testing and case management on Tuesday, however, that virtual update was postponed to later in the week.

The Canadian Press reports the change is to allow more time to "evaluate Ontario-specific evidence after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shortened recommended isolation and quarantine periods for COVID-19."