Nova Scotia

Vaccine mandate having little impact on long-term care home staffing, says minister

Dec. 1 is the first day unvaccinated workers face employment consequences, including unpaid leave.

The province says 99 per cent of staff have had the COVID-19 vaccine

Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Barbara Adams says Nova Scotia's vaccine mandate has not had a significant effect on staffing levels at long-term care facilities. (CBC)

The minister in charge of seniors and long-term care in Nova Scotia says the vaccine mandate is having little effect on staffing levels.

Dec. 1 is the first day unvaccinated workers face employment consequences, including unpaid leave. Barbara Adams says while there are staff shortages in long-term care, most homes are in the same situation today as they were Tuesday.

"I would argue there are very few that might be in a different situation. We had a 99 per cent vaccination rate, which is wonderful," Adams said Wednesday.

Adams said she's thankful to every person who works in home care and long-term care for getting vaccinated. She said homes that are short-staffed have been short-staffed for years.

"They all have contingencies in place for when they are short-staffed, and we've been working with every one of them to address their needs," Adams said.

There are 18 nursing homes that have recently closed admissions because they don't have enough staff to care for new residents. Adams said she will know by the end of the week if any others have decided to take that step because of staff lost to the vaccine mandate.

New long-term care home for Liverpool

On Wednesday, the province announced a new long-term care facility will be built in Liverpool.

The home will have 96 beds and replace the existing Queens Manor and Hillsview Acres, which currently have a combined total of 90 beds. All residents at the new facility will have single rooms and washrooms.

The province will soon issue a request for proposals for a project manager who will support design and construction. Planning and design work will begin as soon as a project manager is hired and construction will start once a design is approved.


With files from Taryn Grant