Any visitor to the Hastings Centennial Manor in Bancroft and Hastings Manor in Belleville must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter.

Hastings County council approved the new requirement last week.

“Currently any visitors into the home are required to show that they’ve done a test and had a negative swab,” Long-Term Care Director Debbie Rollins explains to the newsroom. With case numbers increasing in the province, she says County council is taking this extra step to make sure long-term care home residents are being kept safe.

Rollins says there is no wiggle room with this new requirement. “Even without this extra step, we would not permit a visit without a swab,” she says. Rollins adds that exemptions will be made in urgent cases. “We will provide them with full personal protective equipment to wear,” she says. Rollins says that small sacrifices like this have to be made to make sure the seniors at the County’s long-term care homes are protected.

“We do recognize there is a strain on our system right now with swabs getting done and results coming back,” Rollins adds.

She expects this requirement to be on for the foreseeable future. Rollins says she thinks the province may make changes with visiting protocols at long-term care homes. “The more cases we see pop-up in the province, the harder it will be to not put stricter protocols in place a long-term care home,” she says.

“Whatever we need to do to protect our residents, I think we’re ready to do that,” Rollins says.