Thunder Bay

Long-term care homes in Thunder Bay, Ont., working to implement new COVID-19 vaccination policy for staff

Long-term care homes in Thunder Bay are beginning to implement a new, Ontario COVID-19 vaccination mandate for staff.

Province issued new mandate on May 31

Long-term care facilities in Thunder Bay are working to implement new provincial rules for staff COVID-19 vaccinations. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Long-term care homes in Thunder Bay are beginning to implement a new, Ontario COVID-19 vaccination mandate for staff.

The province issued the new mandate on May 31. Facility operators have until July 1 to implement it.

The new rules state each staff member at Ontario long-term care homes must do one of the following:

  • Provide proof of vaccination after each dose.
  • Provide a documented medical reason for not being vaccinated.
  • Or, take part in an educational program about the benefits of vaccines and the risks of not being vaccinated.

In Thunder Bay, St. Joseph's Care Group said it has been working to follow the new provincial rules, and more than 80 per cent of staff at its two long-term care homes have received at least one vaccine dose.

City has campaign to educate staff

Meanwhile, the City of Thunder Bay, which operates Pioneer Ridge, said the vaccination rate among staff is about 70 per cent, with about 21 per cent of staff saying they're still undecided about the vaccine.

The city said Pioneer Ridge is running a vaccination campaign to educate staff and encourage more to get vaccinated.

Southbridge Care Homes said most staff at the three facilities it operates in Thunder Bay have received at least one vaccine dose.

Staff at Southbridge Roseview, Southbridge Pinewood and Southbridge Lakehead have been "very receptive" to getting the vaccine, Southbridge said in a statement. So far, 90 per cent of staff at Southbridge Lakehead have received their first doses, and 81 per cent at Southbridge Pinewood and Southbridge Roseview  have had their first doses.

"The number of staff at each home that are fully vaccinated has also been increasing steadily, as the waiting period between doses ends. A number of staff at our Thunder Bay homes are also currently waiting for appointments to receive their first doses."

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