Vancouver Sun Article with Karen Biggs, CEO

COVID-19: B.C. care providers fear 10 per cent staff exodus over mandatory vaccinations

The CEO of an Abbotsford seniors care complex fears a loss of staff unless provincial health officials promptly apply the mandatory vaccination to hospital staff and community-based health care workers, too.

Menno Place is bracing for staffing problems on Oct. 12, when all workers at the large seniors community in Abbotsford will need to be vaccinated to be able to work.

Some 675 employees work at the sprawling seniors complex that includes 700 residents in long-term care and independent and assisted living in six buildings. With the province’s mandatory staff vaccination announcement for those who work in seniors care a month ago, CEO Karen Biggs is worried about how much of her staff will be lost.

Staff at hospitals and health care workers who work in the community aren’t required to be immunized against COVID, and she fears she may lose five to 10 per cent of her staff to acute care facilities or to community care, such as in-home care workers.

“We’re all extremely concerned,” said Biggs. “My staff are literally across the street right now from Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, and they can just walk over and get a job. We’re like sitting ducks. I’m losing one of my best (kitchen staffers).”

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