A group of major Canadian long-term care operators will require COVID-19 vaccination for all staff this fall.

Chartwell Retirement Residences, Extendicare, Responsive Group Inc., Revera Inc., and Sienna Senior Living issued a joint statement today about the plan.

The group says employees who aren't fully vaccinated as of Oct. 12 will be placed on unpaid leave of absence.

Vaccination will also be required for new hires, students and other personnel working with the companies.

The group says they don't expect the new policy to impact staffing levels.

Thousands of long-term care residents have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began as homes across the country dealt with major outbreaks.

The coalition of home operators says unvaccinated staff are more likely to bring the virus to work as infection rates increase.

They say the policy will help reduce the need for isolation and other restrictions on residents if outbreaks occur.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2021.