A growing number of Episcopal-related retirement communities are joining employers requiring mandating Covid-19 vaccines. In some cases, the mandate follows recent infections by staff members or breakthrough cases in residents.
Starting September 1, Episcopal Homes will require staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. CEO Marvin Plakut said, adding that mandating the vaccine was not an easy decision and that some employees have been quite resistant. Eighty percent of the care provider’s staff are currently vaccinated.
Episcopal Homes has had two breakthrough cases to date, he told MPR News — one resident and one staff member.
Plakut said he anticipates that a small percentage of unvaccinated staff will leave Episcopal Homes in response to the vaccine mandate, but he remains hopeful that the majority will choose to get vaccinated.
ERS, which operates almost 30 communities in three states, is requiring all continuing care retirement community staff members and support staff to have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 25. Affordable senior housing staff members must receive their first dose by Dec. 31.
“Vaccination status directly impacts what our residents can and cannot do within their homes,” ERS President and CEO Laura Lamb said in a website post. “As staff, we are guests in our residents’ homes, and they are not guests in our workplace. We stand resolved that mandating the vaccine is the best course for those we serve.”
“Our decision is based on our responsibility to put our residents’ needs and quality of life before our own,” Lamb wrote.
On Monday, June 28, Westminster Canterbury Richmond learned that an unvaccinated Registered Nurse (RN) from Mary Morton Parsons Health Center First Floor tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, Parsons Health Center First Floor West and East are under quarantine until Thursday, July 8. Communal dining and activities are suspended on Parsons Health Center First Floor West and East. Visitors to these areas must wear full personal protective equipment that is available at the entrance to these hallways.
Effective September 1, 2021, all employees will be required to be fully vaccinated unless they have health or religious reasons that preclude them from being vaccinated. We are allowing this period of time so that employees who are not already vaccinated will have time to talk to their healthcare providers and seek additional education on the vaccine.