EDMONTON -- A company that manages more than a dozen retirement homes in Alberta will only be allowing essential visitors into residences due to COVID-19.

Essential visitors are defined as relatives who have loved ones who are critically ill.

Chartwell Retirement Residences updated its visitor policy on Saturday for all of their homes across Canada.

Those who are considered an essential visitor will undergo screening measures, and those who fail screening or who refuse screening will not be allowed into the residence.

There are six Chartwell retirement residences in Edmonton, two in Sherwood Park, and one each in Morinville and St. Albert.

There are five in Calgary as well.

The company suggests those with loved ones in their residences to keep in touch with them by phone or other means.

All Seniors Care Living Centres, which has eight homes across the province, has taken similiar precautions.