A large group of Canadian operators of senior residences and long-term care homes will demand that all staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall, and those who do not will be asked to take unpaid leave.
Chartwell, which owns several companies in Quebec, Extendicare, Responsive Group, Revera and Sienna Senior Living, announced the plan in a joint statement on Thursday.
They argue that a strong approach is needed for the fourth wave to spread across the country through more infectious variants of the virus.
“Frontline staff at each organization have shown an enthusiastic response to our voluntary vaccination programs,” the group said in a statement. We thank them for their commitment, but we still need to do more. ”
Employees who have not been fully immunized by October 12 will be placed on unpaid leave.
Students and other employees working with companies also need to be vaccinated.
The group said it did not anticipate the new policy would affect employee availability, adding that companies were now providing immunization education to staff, assisting in making appointments and taking leave to vaccinate.
As a result of these policies “already high vaccination rates for staff continue to rise weekly,” the statement said.
In Ontario, one-third of those who die from COVID-19 are long-term care residents, and the province sets minimum standards for home vaccination policies for the elderly.
Staff must show full proof of vaccination or medical exemption and those who have not been vaccinated must complete an educational program on the Kovid-19 vaccine.
The Ontario Long-Term Care Association has called on the province to strengthen these regulations by making the Kovid-19 vaccine mandatory for all direct care providers.