Continuing to Make Strides Against COVID-19 – Community Update from CEO, Dr. Michael GuerriereTweet
March 15, 2021
To Our Extendicare Community,
There has been good news to start the year with vaccines being administered to vulnerable populations across Canada. Extendicare continues to work with our public health partners across the country to administer first and second doses to help protect our communities.
Our staff have fought day-in and day-out against this devastating virus for a year. While it has been difficult, the vaccine gives hope that we are nearing a return to better times.
Despite the tragic losses suffered and the hardships endured, I am feeling more optimistic about recovery now than I have for some time – in part because our vaccination program is moving quickly, and in larger part because team members across our communities continue to selflessly put the needs of our residents and clients first.
We are moving to immunize more residents, clients and team members in coordination with public health agencies across the country. To date, more than 92% of our residents have received at least one dose of vaccine.
While progress on staff vaccinations has been slower due to supply constraints, new deliveries this month will help accelerate the program. We are encouraging every team member to get their shots as soon as they are available. We have administered more than 20,000 doses to Extendicare residents and staff without any major problems. The vaccine is safe, and it is a great way to protect our communities.
The impact of the pandemic on long-term care has resulted in many calls for higher standards across the country. We agree with this, particularly the need for more care staff and more modern facilities. We are especially excited by recent announcements from the Ontario government to increase the number of staff caring for residents and to launch a program to replace aging buildings.
We look forward to working with the province to implement these needed upgrades in all of our homes and are working to address the long-standing staffing challenges this sector has faced for years. Extendicare is supportive of high, consistent standards across Canada, and the increased peace of mind for seniors and families that would result. Seniors across the country share a common set of needs and we hope other provinces will implement similar standards.
I am immensely grateful to our communities for your patience and support in the face of such a difficult challenge. The safety measures and distance from loved ones has not been easy. We are all looking forward to the day when you are back inside our homes visiting your loved ones again.
I am also incredibly proud of our team members at Extendicare, and their efforts to go above and beyond for our residents with vigilant infection control, regular testing, and now vaccines.
There will still be challenges in the coming weeks and months, but I am confident we are all up to the task. If you have questions as we move forward, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear from you.
Dr. Michael Guerriere
President & CEO, Extendicare