Canada’s largest owner and operator of senior living residences issued a statement addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on tenants, families and staff. With 196 residences and 29,300 suites under management, the organization confirmed there have been positive COVID-19 cases at 18 of Chartwell residences, six of which have now successfully cleared the incubation period.
According to the statement, the top priority of Chartwell continues to be the safety and well-being of its residents. In addition to having strong infection control and management protocols in place, the organization said it recently launched a recruitment campaign to alleviate the increased workload of overburdened staff and enable new operational standards as physical distancing requirements persist.
“Chartwell’s strength is our people and these unprecedented times have brought out the best in them,” commented Vlad Volodarski, Chief Executive Officer. “The commitment and dedication of our staff at all levels of the organization has been inspiring and I am grateful to each and every one of them. The overwhelming support, encouragement and gratitude we receive from our residents and their families every day reinforces our confidence that we will prevail in this crisis and will come out of it stronger.”
In terms of impact of COVID-19 on business, Volodarksi said, “Chartwell has a top-tier operating platform, diversified property portfolio, adequate liquidity and a strong balance sheet. In the current environment our investments are focused on direct resident care, including additional staffing and personal protective equipment and supplies. We are deferring other discretionary investments to preserve liquidity. I am confident that by doing the right thing today, we are setting an even stronger foundation for our future.”
To navigate the situation as effectively as possible, Chartwell has been working extensively with sector associations and all levels of government agencies. The organization says it is continuing its analysis of all relevant funding announcements to determine eligibility.
Government programs currently available to offset impacts of COVID-19 on senior sector:
- Ontario long-term care has been allocated $243 million to support long term care as an essential service in managing the pandemic crisis, including surge capacity planning as hospitals are expected to exceed capacity.
- Ontario retirement homes have been allocated $20 million to support extraordinary expenses related to COVID-19.
- British Columbia has allocated $10 million to assisted living and long term care residences.
- Quebec announced various funding initiatives, including funding for temporary pay increases to health care staff totalling $410 million.
- Other announcements to support businesses during this pandemic include rate reductions in energy costs, and deferrals of worker’s compensation premiums and realty tax payments.