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Burnaby care home firm losing millions amid COVID-19 impacts

Care home in Burnaby had to deal with outbreak in January
A care home worker.

The financial impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt.

Sienna Senior Living Inc., which operates Rideau Retirement Home in Burnaby, is reporting a net loss of $8.7 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31 as the company faces higher costs related to the pandemic.

Rideau had to deal with a coronavirus outbreak back in January of this year, with at least 14 cases reported by the BC Centre for Disease Control. That outbreak has been declared officially over.

The company's net income in the fourth quarter was $9.8 million lower than a year earlier, with net operating expenses increasing by 4.4 per cent year over year.

From March to December, Sienna, which operates long-term care and retirement homes with 10,000 residents across its properties, increased its staffing level from 1,200 to more than 13,000 employees as it grappled with the pandemic, the company says.

Sienna's revenue decreased by 0.2 per cent to $168.8 million in Q4 2020, in line with analysts' forecast of $167.5 million.

Long-term care homes have been the focus of government and media scrutiny in recent months, with many facilities seeing deadly outbreaks of COVID-19 among their residents.

As of Tuesday, 12 of Sienna's 83 owned or managed properties were experiencing active outbreaks of COVID-19, although cases among residents have dropped by around 96 per cent since the start of the year, Sienna says.

- With files from the Canadian Press