September 8, 2021
I am pleased to report that the COVID-19 outbreak experienced at McCormick Home over the weekend has been abating. The outbreak has officially ended for several home areas in the building; however, two home areas remain in outbreak status due to the period of isolation required based on last possible exposure dates. All residents in these home areas, as well any staff who worked in these locations, are undergoing a second test today. It is hoped that the outbreak will declared completely over by September 11, 2021. Again, there is no COVID-19 outbreak at McCormick Dementia Services.
I am also reaching out today to announce that we will be implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all our staff members, effective October 31, 2021. This announcement, which includes all staff at McCormick Dementia Services and McCormick Home, falls in line with similar policies being enacted by health and long-term care organizations across Ontario as well as with the province’s recent announcement about the implementation of vaccine passports in selected business establishments.
We feel that it is of the utmost importance that we stay in step with our colleagues in the health care sector to ensure that optimum safety standards are being enacted for society’s most vulnerable populations. This move falls in line with recommendations from health officials that endorse the COVID-19 vaccination as a clear way to eradicating the pandemic that has been experienced around the world since early 2020.
McCormick Care Group has already achieved an 87% rate of fully vaccinated staff, and staff continue to receive vaccinations at steadily increasing intervals. We want to ensure that a 100% compliance rate is achieved so that we can enhance the quality of life of those in our care and offer more open and socially interactive connections for our clients and residents.
With the wider implementation of vaccine enforcement in health care settings, we do not expect any impacts to our staffing levels and will continue to provide support and education on the benefits of the vaccine to the McCormick community. Exemptions for medical or religious grounds will be accepted with the required documentation. In addition to staff members, this policy will apply to student placements and volunteers and will serve as a condition of employment for all prospective hires and unpaid support positions.
It should be noted that it is the policy of the McCormick Care Group to not disclose the personal health information, including the vaccination status, of any of its staff at any time.
We have worked diligently to make vaccinations easily accessible to staff by offering several vaccination clinics since the spring. Given the increased risk of infection through the Delta variant – or fourth wave – currently underway, we have determined that the safest course of action is to ensure that our staff are 100% vaccinated as a condition of continued employment.
We welcome this opportunity to enhance the health and safety of our clients and residents, who are among the hardest hit populations of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karen Johnson, Director,
McCormick Dementia Services