Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes: Information and Resources

The College's role to date has been to share the information released by the Government of Ontario and the Chief Medical Officer of Health with physiotherapists, the public, patients and employers.

We have provided information and resources to support PTs in long-term care and retirement homes below. The page will be updated as new information becomes available and a list of frequently asked questions is included at the bottom. 

Government Issued Emergency Orders

Government issued emergency orders specify that employees of long-term care and retirement homes may only work at one location. These measures came into effect on April 22, 2020 and extend to health professionals, including physiotherapists.  

The Ontario government also released an action plan to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care and retirement homes.

Ontario's Action Plan     

On June 12, the Ontario Government released updates to Directive 3, allowing certain visitors in long-term care and retirement homes, effective June 18, 2020. The updated directive also allows admissions and re-admissions to enable the transfer to long-term care or retirement homes from hospitals or community.

The Ministry also shared the following guidance in support of the updated Directive 3:

Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

On April 15, 2020 the Ministry of Health released a directive that indicates that long-term care homes and retirement homes should immediately require that all staff wear surgical/procedure masks at all times. This directive applies to all long-term care homes and retirement homes, including those in outbreak and those not in outbreak. 

Read the Directive

Update on Essential Care

On May 26, 2020, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health released changes to Directive #2, allowing physiotherapists and other regulated health professionals to gradually and carefully begin providing all services, including non-essential care. 

Physiotherapists should only begin providing in-person care if all necessary precautions and protocols are in place to protect patients and themselves. 

PTs must follow the Ministry's COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart.

The College has developed guidance to help physiotherapists re-open their practice. This guidance has been prepared based on Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario information and resources, in collaboration with other healthcare regulators. 

Return to Work Guidance


PTs working in long-term care or retirement homes may use tele-rehabilitation (sometimes called virtual care) to treat patients who require non-urgent care.  

When delivering care virtually, PTs must follow the same rules and standards as they would when providing in person care. Physiotherapists must use their professional judgement to determine if tele-rehabilitation is appropriate for their patient. 

Virtual Care in Physiotherapy

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs: Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes

  • What screening questions should I ask prior to an in-person appointment?

  • Can I be asked to do activities not normally performed by a physiotherapist?

  • Can a PT be redeployed to a different position during the pandemic?

  • I want to provide tele-rehabilitation to deliver care to a patient, what should I consider?

  • Do I need to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

  • Are there specific rules for PPE in Long-Term Care Facilities?

  • As a health care provider, should I be tested for COVID-19?

Can't find the answer to your question? Contact the Practice Advisor at
advice@collegept.org or 1-800-583-5885 ext. 241