MARKHAM, Ontario, Oct. 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sienna Senior Living Inc. (“Sienna” or the “Company”) (TSX: SIA) today provided the following business update.
The health and well-being of residents and team members remain the Company’s top priority. Sienna has advanced critical steps necessary to manage COVID-19 across its 83 residences ahead of a second wave, including securing a robust supply of personal protective equipment, strengthening infection prevention and control practices, putting in place staffing plans, and ensuring the Company’s frontline employees have the training and support they need.
“Over the past weeks we further strengthened our financial position and our development plans have been gaining momentum as we continue to navigate through the pandemic and beyond,” said Nitin Jain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sienna Senior Living. “With the support of the health care experts on our team, the numerous infection prevention and control practices we put in place and our request for everyone to do their part in keeping our residents, caregivers and team members safe, we will fight the pandemic as we enter its second wave.”
Development and Redevelopment of Long-Term Care Residences: Sienna and Scarborough Health Network explore potential partnership
Sienna has submitted applications with the Ministry of Long-term Care for the development/re-development of a number of its Class B/C long-term care residences in Ontario.
The Company’s development plans include the active pursuit of a partnership between Sienna and Scarborough Health Network (“SHN”) to develop a new 320-bed long-term care campus to provide integrated care for the growing needs of the local community. The plans explore the opportunity to develop Sienna’s Altamont Care Community (“Altamont”) into a campus-style community, including the redevelopment of Altamont’s 159 existing beds and the development of approximately 161 new beds.
In addition to the potential partnership with SHN at Altamont, three development projects previously announced in Keswick, Brantford and North Bay are in advanced stages of planning and approval with regulatory and local authorities.
Sienna continues to evaluate how the Government of Ontario’s new funding model, which caters to regional development needs, will impact and benefit the Company’s portfolio of 5,733 long-term care beds in Ontario, of which approximately 2,200 beds are located in 15 older Class B/C homes.
Ontario Government Update on Additional Long-term Care Funding
We are encouraged by the Government of Ontario’s recent update with respect to additional funding of over $0.5 billion for long-term care.
Major funding components include:
$405 million for infection prevention, staffing and personal protective equipment;
$61.4 million for minor capital repairs and renovations;
$40 million to support homes impacted by the changes in occupancy due to COVID-19; and
$30 million to hire more infection prevention and control staffing.
On September 29, Sienna has been allocated additional funding of approximately $6.4 million and expects to receive further funding in the fourth quarter of 2020.
We are also grateful for the Government of Ontario’s support for personal support workers through a temporary wage increase of $3/hour effective October 1, 2020, which will help recognize the extraordinary efforts of our frontline employees and stabilize staffing as we enter the second wave of the pandemic.
As of October 4, 2020, nine residences are in outbreak, with only one active resident COVID-19 case.
Over the past eight weeks, the number of active resident COVID-19 cases across Sienna’s 83 owned or managed residences remained at zero to one case at any given time.
Retirement Occupancy and Rent Collection
In Sienna’s retirement portfolio, average same property occupancy in September 2020 improved from the previous month, and rent collection levels remained high.
Retirement same property occupancy (average)
Retirement rent collection
During Q3 2020, the Company continued to record an increased level of deposits from prospective residents compared to Q2 2020 and the comparative prior year period as a result of the reopening of residences for in-person visits and increased marketing efforts.
Balance Sheet Update
Sienna continued to strengthen its financial position with the closing of a combined $275 million of debt financings on October 2, 2020, which were used for general corporate purposes and to repay existing indebtedness, including the redemption of all of the outstanding 3.474% Series B Senior Secured Debentures due February 3, 2021. As a result, the Company further enhanced its balance sheet and significantly reduced its near-term debt maturities.
As at October 2, 2020, Sienna’s liquidity was approximately $227.7 million, comprised of $86.2 million of cash and cash equivalents, $40.0 million of short-term investments as well as $101.5 million of available credit facilities. The Company’s pool of unencumbered assets increased by more than $300 million from $540 million as at June 30, 2020 to approximately $841 million as at October 2, 2020.
About Sienna Senior Living
Sienna Senior Living Inc. (TSX:SIA) offers a full range of seniors' living options, including independent living, assisted living, long-term care, and specialized programs and services. Sienna's approximately 13,000 employees are passionate about helping residents live fully every day. For more information, please visit www.siennaliving.ca.
Refer to the risk factors on “General Business Risks” and “COVID-19 and Other Outbreaks” disclosed in the Company’s Management Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended June 30, 2020, and other risk factors disclosed in its most recent annual Management Discussion and Analysis and Annual Information Form for more information.
Certain of the statements contained in this news release are forward-looking statements and are provided for the purpose of presenting information about management’s current expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. These statements generally use forward-looking words, such as “anticipate,” “continue,” “could,” “expect,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “believe,” “goals” or other similar words and include, without limitation, statements with respect to the Company’s pursuit of a potential partnership with Scarborough Health Network with respect to the development of Altamont Care Community into a long-term care campus. These statements are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements and, accordingly, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not such results will be achieved. The forward-looking statements in this news release are based on information currently available and what management currently believes are reasonable assumptions. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements except as may be required by applicable law.
For further information, please contact:
Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President
(905) 477-4006 x3069
Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Marketing