Health Protection Act & COVID-19 Management in Long Term Care Facilities Directive Under the Authority of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

The goal of COVID-19 Management in Long-term Care Facilities (LTCF) is to, as much as possible, prevent the introduction of the virus into facility and/or prevent transmission to residents and staff within the facility.

All health care workers must follow the Public Health Order issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), dated March 24, 2020, and any direction arising from that Order and directives given under the authority of the Health Protection Act (HPA).

PARTICIPANTS REQUESTED : Healthcare Video

Attached correspondence from Dept of Health :

From: Smith, Alexandra

Subject: Healthcare Video document-PARTICIPANT REQUEST

Date: April 10, 20

Good morning:

Earlier this week many of you indicated a willingness to ask your members to participate in video messages campaigns from health care workers to thank Nova Scotians for staying home. We appreciate you sharing this request with your members.

Communications Nova Scotia is collecting photos and video messages from individuals and groups in all corners of our health care system. The idea is for them to thank Nova Scotians for continuing to follow public health directions, and to remind everyone to keep it going. We will edit a selection of them into a video for circulating via social media.

We’re asking for short (ie 5-7 second) “Thank you!” videos and photos. We have an attached sign that you can print and use if you wish. Homemade signs reinforcing social distancing, staying home, and hand washing are also welcome.

Read morePARTICIPANTS REQUESTED : Healthcare Video

CONTINUING CARE INFORMATION RELEASE – New Protocol for Masking in Long Term Care

CONTINUING CARE INFORMATION RELEASE

TO: Long Term Care Facilities

CC: Susan Stevens, Senior Director, Nova Scotia Health Authority Paula Langille, Director, Continuing Care, DHW

DATE: April 11, 2020

FROM:
Mary Lee, Health Association of Nova Scotia (HANS)
Vicki Elliott-Lopez, Senior Executive Director, Continuing Care, DHW

New Protocol for Masking in Long Term Care
The Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) is implementing a new protocol around masking of health care workers (HCW) in DHW-licensed long-term care during the COVID- 19 pandemic. Specifically, any staff working in or moving through resident care areas will be asked to wear a procedure mask throughout their entire shift. One (1) procedure mask per shift should be provided by facilities. An additional mask should be available if required due to soiling. Please note that paper bags (such as brown paper lunch bags) should also be available to staff for storage of masks during breaks, etc.

Facilities are expected to continue with standard processes for securing PPE supplies, conserve supplies as appropriate and have a mechanism in place to track your products. When necessary, DHW will supply procedure masks through the urgent request process established through HANS.

Read moreCONTINUING CARE INFORMATION RELEASE – New Protocol for Masking in Long Term Care

Q & A on Right to Refuse and Personal Protective Equipment

Can I use my right to refuse for COVID-19?
Employees have a right to refuse unsafe work when there are reasonable grounds to believe that the work, tool, or equipment is dangerous to you or another person’s health and safety. Many situations could create a dangerous condition in your workplace and COVID-19 is no exception. For most workers, especially those in a health care workplace, the presence of a communicable disease isn’t automatically dangerous, as long as you have the training and appropriate resources, including personal protective equipment (PPE) to do the work safely.

When do I need to use Personal Protective Equipment?
Working with residents or patients who are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 is hazardous work, and PPE is an important tool that allows your work to be performed safely. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets so the PPE for those providing care would include a mask to cover your mouth, goggles or a face shield to cover your eyes, a gown to cover your clothing, and gloves to protect your hands. Lacking any of these resources would make the work more hazardous and could lead to a dangerous situation.

Read moreQ & A on Right to Refuse and Personal Protective Equipment

IMPORTANT NOTICE for affiliated locals of CUPE NS & Long Term Care Coordinating Committee

CUPE Nova Scotia and the Long Term Care Coordinating Committee want to do our part in supporting social distancing.

As a result, we have decided to post pone our Convention & Conference this coming May.
Stay tuned for dates in the fall!

Our heartfelt thanks to CUPE members showing up to work everyday on the frontline, working to keep us safe during this global pandemic.

Additionally, in order to create space for a fall convention, it has been decided to cancel the All-Committees Conference scheduled for this coming October.

In Socially Distant Solidarity,
CUPE Nova Scotia Executive & the Long Term Care Coordinating Committee 

COVID-19 and Income Supports for Workers Q and A

What is your situation? 

I am an employee with COVID-19 and/or in isolation: 

  • Your employer may have a short-term disability or sick leave program that you need to apply for before applying for EI Sickness Benefits. Check your collective agreement or contact your CUPE local.
  • If you have worked more than 600 hours in the past year or since your last EI claim, you qualify for EI sickness benefits. For more information on EI Sickness Benefits, check out the section on EI below.
  • If you have not worked more than 600 hours in the past year or since your last EI claim, the federal government is providing an Emergency Care Benefit, which will provide benefits comparable to EI for up to 15 weeks. More details will be forthcoming from the Federal government.
  • Your job will be protected during this leave of absence by federal and provincial legislation.

    Read moreCOVID-19 and Income Supports for Workers Q and A

COVID-19 : FYI for CUPE members

The Precautionary Principal
Knowledge about how the virus is transmitted has yet to be fully understood. For this reason, CUPE is recommending that health care settings adopt the precautionary principle towards infection prevention and control of COVID-19.

The precautionary principle means taking action to prevent infection from potentially serious viruses without having to wait for complete scientific proof that a course of action is necessary. While there is continued uncertainty that the virus is not spread through the air, we must conduct ourselves as if it were.

Read moreCOVID-19 : FYI for CUPE members

When to self isolate : COVID-19

“Public sector employees who travel outside of Canada, including to the United States, are required to self-isolate for 14 days when they get back to Canada. This includes health care workers, teachers, civil servants and other public sector employees.

Public school students and children who attend regulated childcare centres are required to self-isolate for 14 days if they have travelled outside the country, including to the United States. This rule applies even if their parents or caregivers aren’t public sector employees.”

 

The Long-Term Care Committee will be offering two scholarships valued at $250.00 each, available to members who’s locals are affiliated with the LTCCC, to honour our past member Michael McNeil.

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