Civitas staff member receiving COVID vaccine.

Civitas Senior Living is the latest senior living owner and operator to announce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees.

Chief Operating Officer Misty Miller said that mandating vaccination for the company’s 2,600 employees was “imperative” to protecting residents and employees and returning the senior living industry to “pre-COVID normalcy.”

Vaccination uptake rates in Civitas communities currently are 90% or higher for residents and approximately 50% for employees. All Civitas employees now are required to be fully vaccinated by May 1.

Civitas initiated its vaccination program Dec. 30 with Walgreens through the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, which is expected to end later this month. But the Fort Worth, TX-based senior living owner and operator became certified last month by the Lone Star State to directly vaccinate its residents, employees and essential caregivers.

The vaccination provider designation allows Civitas to continue providing vaccinations to new residents and staff at its 36 Texas-based communities.

Miller said the company is coordinating with other vaccine providers to vaccinate Civitas residents in other states while the company continues to work toward becoming a vaccine provider in its communities outside of Texas. The company also operates in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky and Oklahoma.

“Due to Civitas’ vaccination efforts at our communities, we have seen incredible results,” Miller said, adding that the company currently has no positive resident cases in its communities. “However, we recognize that the COVID-19 virus still poses a threat. It is up to Civitas and all of us to stay vigilant,” she said.

Although vaccination is not required for residents, Miller said that Civitas is encouraging residents to be vaccinated and will provide opportunities for those who were not vaccinated during the federal partnership clinics.

Civitas co-founder and CEO Wayne Powell said that the company’s employees have gone above and beyond to protect residents and families during the pandemic and that he has seen the immediate effect that vaccinations have had on residents.

“We are committed to doing what’s right for our residents,” he said. “The vaccination is the best way forward for not only our Civitas family and residents, but the entire senior living industry,” Powell said.

ALG Senior, Atria Senior Living, Juniper Communities and Silverado are among other senior living providers that have implemented mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for employees.

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