As we enter the final quarter of 2021, COVID-19 remains at the forefront of Canada’s collective mind, and we are now, by most estimations, in the fourth wave of the pandemic.
At OMNI Health Care, the good news is how well the pandemic has been managed by our 18 long-term care homes in 2021. This is largely due to the availability of vaccines since the start of the year and the exceptionally high rate of immunization amongst our resident population.
The people working on the front lines in OMNI homes have played an important part in this success. Their contributions to this year’s vaccine campaign cannot be understated.
When inoculations for COVID-19 became available to long-term-care home residents at the start of the year, staff members were educated about the vaccines and shared information about the science supporting their effectiveness with residents and their families.
This resulted in large-scale vaccine support and a 90-plus-per-cent vaccination rate in our homes, with many homes having nearly all eligible residents immunized against the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.
Staff members also worked tirelessly this year to organize in-house vaccine clinics, and they have collaborated with public health units to ensure seamless delivery of the vaccines to our homes.
Additionally, OMNI, along with a number of other Ontario long-term care operators, has made vaccinations mandatory for all staff members effective Oct. 15.
The Ontario government has subsequently issued a vaccine mandate for people working in all long-term care homes in the province.
Health-care experts across the board have stressed that vaccines are the best tool we have for preventing COVID-19 infection and for minimizing the impact of the virus in people who still become infected.
With a high vaccination rate amongst residents and staff, new directives from the Ministry of Long-Term Care and the hard work of team members working in OMNI long-term care homes, residents have continued to enjoy a high quality of life, despite the challenges that have come with the pandemic.
Keeping residents’ quality of life high is our greatest measure of success.
Still, we cannot lose sight of the fact the pandemic is not over, and we will remain diligent in keeping residents safe while keeping their quality of life high.
A huge thank-you to all staff members is in order for continuously maintaining this balance.