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92 per cent of staff at Wellington Terrace fully vaccinated

Meanwhile, Caressant Care has joined other private long-term care home operators in introducing a mandatory vaccine policy
Wellington Terrace Long-Term Care Home in Fergus. Keegan Kozolanka/EloraFergusToday file photo

Wellington County is reporting 92 per cent of staff at Wellington Terrace, its municipally operated not-for-profit long-term care home are fully-vaccinated. 

Nineteen of the 307 people working at the facility are unvaccinated, the county's communication manager confirmed in an email. Seven people have received only their first dose. 

Those without two doses have received education on the vaccine and undergo rapid testing twice a week, Wellington Terrace assistant administrator, Peg Muhlbauer said in a report to council

Wellington Terrace’s policy is in line with provincial requirements, but the home has not gone as far as some for-profit facilities that have introduced vaccine mandates.

On Wednesday, Caressant Care Nursing and Retirement Homes Ltd. announced effective Nov. 1,  all staff working at its 15 long-term care homes and 10 retirement homes across the province will be required to show proof of all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. That includes Caressant Care’s facilities in Arthur, Fergus and Harriston. 

Staff who are not fully vaccinated and do not have a medical or religious exemption will be placed on unpaid leave. 

The move comes two weeks after a group of major Canadian long-term care operators announced similar measures

In a media release, Caressant Care communications and marketing manager, Stuart Oakley referenced rising case counts and concerns about Delta and other variants heading into the fall. 

“Every employee in our organization has chosen older adult care as their profession and therefore has a responsibility to protect those entrusted in their care,” Oakley said. “A fully vaccinated workforce creates the safest possible workplace environment for residents and staff.”

Caressant Care's mandatory vaccine policy applies to existing staff and new hires, students on educational placement, and volunteers.