N.B.'s nursing home association raises the alarm over the number of unvaccinated workers

The New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes is raising the alarm over the number of nursing home workers in the province who have still not been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

According to Michael Keating, the interim president of the N.B. Association of Nursing Homes, there are currently around 1,500 unvaccinated workers.

He says the association is now looking into a vaccine policy for employees.

“The fact that 18.6 per cent of employees have not been vaccinated, or are refusing to be vaccinated, is incredibly troubling,” says Keating.

“We’re going to determine what the policy will be with respect to employees and vaccines, as to what measures they have to take if they’re refusing to be vaccinated and we’ll probably know that within the next week or two.”

Lakeview Manor, a 50-bed long-term care facility in Riverview, N.B., has closed its doors to visitors after one of its staff members, who had received both of their COVID-19 doses, tested positive for the virus.

Residents and staff are in the process of being tested for COVID-19, along with any visitors who might have been in contact with the infected person.

 “We have no confirmation that there’s been another case and the only other place that is ongoing is Dalhousie nursing home where an employee there tested positive as well,” says Keating.

The employee in that case, according to Keating, was not vaccinated.

Meantime, the city of Saint John has announced that it will be putting a vaccine policy into place for municipal workers, as will the city of Fredericton. However, there is no word yet on what Moncton will do.

“We have not yet made a decision on a mandatory vaccination directive for our municipal employees,” says spokesperson Isabelle LeBlanc, in an emailed statement.

“We are currently surveying employees and may have more information in the coming week or so.”