New directive allows for off-site visits for residents of ECU

After months of residents of the William A. George Extended Care Facility (ECU) being confined to the facility during the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent announcement from the Ministry of Long-Term Care has made it possible for residents to leave the premises for day trips and overnight visits. 

Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) has worked with this new directive to refine their policies, specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and visitor restrictions, to ensure residents and their loved ones are able to arrange these off-site visits with safety and health as a top priority.

“It has taken some time to clarify some of the new directives and ensure that our residents and their loved are able to schedule these visits in a way that complements our current on-site visitation policy,” notes Cynthia Dwyer, Administrator, Long Term Care at SLMHC.  “These new policies are fluid and can change so quickly depending on what is happening in our region. At this time, we can offer off-site visits and these can all be scheduled with our team lead.”

Currently, those wishing to schedule on-site visits, off-site visits or overnight stays must schedule these in advance.

“We have a duty to keep residents, families and staff safe.  Any overnight stay requires at least one week notice, and an off-site day trip requires two-days’ notice. These are all in place to prioritize safety and health, and to ensure we have transportation and other resources in place to best support the residents,” explains Dwyer.  Dwyer also notes that there is COVID-19 testing and regular monitoring happening for residents and staff, and there are policies in place such as 14-day isolation after off-site visits.

“Those residents who do leave for off-site visits, with the exception of medical appointments or emergency care, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. We will be monitoring them closely and providing excellent care, but limiting their interactions with other residents, all with our focus on keeping everyone safe,” explains Dwyer, who also notes that off-site visits are approved on a case-by-case basis depending on the health and well-being of the resident.

For the most up-to-date information on changes to visitor policies and arranging a visit with your loved one, we remind family members to visit the website or call us directly. Online guides for both on-site and off-site visits are available online at

To schedule visits or ask questions about the process, please call (807) 737-3030 ext 4575.