By Oct. 12, 2021, staff who are not fully vaccinated will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence
A coalition of national seniors' living operators, led by Chartwell, Extendicare, Responsive Group, Revera and Sienna, has announced they are making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for their long-term care and retirement home staff across Canada.
“The fourth wave of COVID-19 is here, with cases rising across the country. Variants of the virus, such as Delta and other evolving variants like Lambda, are highly transmissible and continue to pose significant risk to seniors, people with health issues and those who have not yet been fully vaccinated.
Together, Canada's largest seniors' care providers are doing everything we can to remain vigilant and protect the vulnerable populations in our care from the virus. Frontline staff at each organization have demonstrated an enthusiastic response to our voluntary vaccination programs. We thank them for their commitment, but we need to do more,” read part of the announcement from Vlad Volodarski, CEO, Chartwell Retirement Residences; Dr. Michael Guerriere, President and CEO, Extendicare; Bill Dillane, President, Responsive Group Inc.; Thomas Wellner, President and CEO, Revera Inc.; and Nitin Jain, President and CEO, Sienna Senior Living.
Starting Oct. 12, 2021, staff who are not fully vaccinated will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence. Full vaccination is also required for all new hires, students and agency personnel, across each organization.
The new vaccination policy will enhance protection against the virus for the people we care for and team members who deliver that care, as well as essential caregivers and visiting family members, according to the coalition.
“Vaccinations are safe, highly effective and significantly reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization. Each operator has removed barriers to vaccination and continues to provide supports to their frontline staff including education, appointment booking and paid time for vaccination, resulting in already high staff vaccination rates that continue to rise each week.
In light of this, we do not expect any impact on staffing levels. We are optimistic our staff will continue to act in the best interest of our communities and will work to achieve full vaccination across our homes.”