CUPE LOCAL 108 UPDATE: March 19

Things with COVID-19 are changing constantly. The Mayor addresses the community daily, giving updates on new COVID-19 measures that HRM is undertaking. Most of the new measures do not involve CUPE Local 108 members. I know many of you are feeling ignored. I can assure you that the conversations I’ve had with you are being taken to your managers.

Many 108 members are concerned about infection at workplaces. Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Strang, said today that all cases of COVID-19 are travel related or those in close proximity of travel related cases. He said that it is time to observe social distancing, it’s no longer an option. We must all try to limit physical interaction. He also said that social distancing does not mean we have to stay home. He said we can still go to the grocery store, walk our dogs and be out and about. We can do this while practicing social or physical distances (2m or 6’). He also stressed that self-isolation does not necessarily mean that we stay inside our home, but we need to stay away from other people with no physical contact. Dr. Strang asked that any worker that can work remotely, do so. These are protocols that will slow the spread of the virus, and allows us to remain at work, earning a pay. There is no directive to send all workers home.

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COVID-19 UPDATE March 18, 2020

New National Measures

Today the Prime Minister announced a series of new economic measures to support Canadians impacted financially by COVID-19. New income supports are available for those forced to stay home because of caregiving responsibilities or illness, or who have lost their income through layoff or shutdown. More details are available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html#Support_for_Canadians

Additional Public Services Closures in Nova Scotia

Effective immediately, Department of Community Services-funded day programs for people with disabilities will be suspended. Families will be able to receive respite care through group homes. Members working in these programs will be placed on administrative leave with pay. Please contact your employer directly for more details.

Questions from Home Care Workers

We know that many home care workers are receiving mixed guidance from employers as to whether or not they are allowed to check in with clients before visits and at what point services are withdrawn to protect home care workers’ safety. Public Health is aware of these concerns and is working on drafting protocols. We will be in touch at the earliest opportunity with an update.

In the meantime, please visit the Nova Scotia Home Support website for COVID-19 Updates including information on the precautionary principle and the right to refuse: https://nshomesupport.cupe.ca/

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Information for Continuing Care Sector on COVID-19

The following information is from a NS Government Fact Sheet

1. I have employees who returned from travel outside of Canada BEFORE March 13, 2020. Should these employees be directed to self isolate?

No, however employees who returned from travel outside of Canada BEFORE March 13, 2020 are expected to closely monitor their health. If the employee begins to experience symptoms (fever, new cough, or difficulty breathing), they are required to self-isolate and call 811 for direction. More information on when you should call 811 can be found at: https://811.novascotia.ca/health_topics/covid-19-when-to-call-811/

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