, Activist applauds NB’s decision to demand that nursing home staff be vaccinated – New Brunswick | The Canadian News

As sharp as ever, 95-year-old Robert Babcock is keenly aware of New Brunswick’s new requirement that nursing home staff and visitors be fully vaccinated.

“My question is, ‘Why did it take them so long?’” Asks the resident of the Riverview nursing home. “We are very vulnerable at our age, we have enough trouble getting out of bed in the morning without dealing with COVID.

“It’s how it should be,” he says. “We need all the protection we can get.”

New Brunswick announced Wednesday that all staff in nursing homes and adult residential facilities will need to be fully vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and mask.

The owner of the nursing home where Babcock lives says the move will ease stress on staff, who are now backed by a provincial mandate.

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“I’m very satisfied. I’ve loved it for a long time,” says Lynn Grass, RN and owner of The Grass Home.

“It takes a lot of weight off,” he says. “It has been stressful through COVID, you are dealing with many different people who want to come and some families have chosen to get vaccinated, others have chosen not to. But you know that it is a delicate subject for many people, sometimes they do not want to be asked without further ado ”.

She says most of her staff are vaccinated and the “small percentage” who are not will be tested for COVID-19 three times a week.

Staff have continued to wear masks and Grass says he doesn’t expect that to change anytime soon.
Advocate for older people, Cecile Cassista, has been applying for the mandate, calling the decision “good news.”

Click to Play Video: 'New Brunswick Businesses React to New Test of Vaccination Policy'

New Brunswick Businesses React to New Test of Vaccination Policy

New Brunswick Businesses React to New Test of Vaccination Policy

“Anyone who goes to these care centers should get vaccinated,” says Cassista, executive director of the Coalition for Nursing Home Residents’ Rights. “There should be no excuses, I mean we have locked up these vulnerable older people for 17 months and I think we need to take a responsible role to make sure they are protected.”

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The New Brunswick Nursing Home Association also supports the move.

“Unfortunately, we have about 18 percent of our employees who refuse to receive vaccines,” says Acting CEO Michael Keating. “In the event of an outbreak, they would not be allowed to go to work.”

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But Keating says there will still be details that need to be finalized.

“This also needs to be balanced with the need for our residents to interact with their family and the like, so we are now in the process of trying to determine what exactly each home will do,” he says.

The province also announced Wednesday that anyone who lives and works in some communal settings, such as assisted living facilities, shelters, community kitchens, and mental health and addiction treatment facilities, will now need to be fully vaccinated, or must wear a mask and Get regularly tested for COVID-19.

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