Safety Is Not Negotiable – Pandemic Preparedness – the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
Last Updated: 2:15 PM, Monday, May 25, 2020.
This page is intended to provide general information on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. NBNU will be updating this page with additional information as it becomes available. Guidelines for novel coronavirus COVID-19, targeted at health care workers, are currently under development by the Public Health Agency of Canada as well as by provincial public health offices.
MindSpa : https://nbnu.ca/mindspa/
It is now more important than ever to decompress and feel the support of those around you. MindSpa is dedicated to giving registered nurses and nurse practitioners a break from the rigors of the job during this time of heightened stress, workload and anxiety.
|Memo||Date||WorkSafeNB - Guidelines for NB Workplaces||May 19, 2020||Signed MOA re: Vacation Scheduling NBNU||May 5, 2020||MOA : Salary Continuation for Employees Who Contract COVID-19 in the Workplace||May 5, 2020||Federal Announcement of Financial Assistance to provinces for LTC sector||April 15, 2020||Checking In||April 9, 2020||Agreement Achieved – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the Hospital Sector||April 6, 2020||Joint Statement: COVID-19 and Personal Protective Equipment||April 6, 2020||Q&A COVID-19 and Health and Safety Measures, including Personal Protective Equipment||April 6, 2020||Members : Thank You Memo||March 27, 2020||Memo re: WorkSafeNB's Position on PPE||March 23, 2020||Q&A : PPE||March 20, 2020||MY RIGHT TO REFUSE UNSAFE WORK: A Guide for NBNU Members||March 20, 2020||Memo re: NBNU Mobility Agreement||March 19, 2020||NBNU Mobility Agreement||March 19, 2020||COVID-19 : Q&A with GNB||March 18, 2020||COVID-19 Preventative Measures||March 16, 2020||Safety is Not Negotiable||March 12, 2020|
|Memo||Date||CFNU Position Statement Transparency PPE Supply||April 20, 2020||CFNU Position Statement Uniforms during COVID-19||April 9, 2020||CFNU position statement Pregnant HCWs during COVID-19||April 9, 2020||Nurses call on federal government to urgently enact COVID-19 safety measures for health care workers||April 16, 2020||Emergency Measures to Support Health Care Workers in the Fight against COVID-19||April 16, 2020||CFNU's COVID-19 position statement||February 12, 2020|
|Memo||Date||Further expansion of testing criteria for Covid-19||April 28, 2020||Mask use in the health-care system||April 20, 2020||Directive on the Continuous Use of Masks||April 20, 2020||COVID-19 Part III Mobility Agreements - FAQ||April 16, 2020||COVID-19 Mask use in Health care system||April 8, 2020||CMHA NB Virtual Services||April 4, 2020||Travel outside of New Brunswick||March 27, 2020||Quick Reference Guide : COVID-19 Supports||March 27, 2020||Key – Messages Pregnancy & Infant Feeding||March 19, 2020||New Direction on COVID-19 Testing for clinicians||March 17, 2020||COVID-19 Referral Form||March 17, 2020||How to Self-Isolate||March 17, 2020|
What is Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV?
According to the World Health Organization, a coronavirus belongs to a family of viruses causing illnesses ranging from the common cold to severe diseases, like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). A novel coronavirus is a strain previously unidentified in humans. Named COVID-19, this respiratory disease was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 before spreading to a number of Asian countries and Europe, Australia, the USA and Canada. There are now thousands of confirmed cases in mainland China and more than 100 dead. The incubation period for the new coronavirus is thought to be up to 14 days.
Have there been any confirmed cases in New Brunswick?
Public Health reported no new cases of COVID-19 today.
To date 21,752 tests have been conducted in New Brunswick. There have been 121 confirmed cases. The number of active cases is one and 120 people have recovered from their illness. None of the active cases are in hospital.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory infection. Symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat and headache. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
As a healthcare worker, what should I do if I suspect I have the coronavirus?
As of March 20th, Healthcare workers and staff that are symptomatic (new onset/exacerbation of chronic cough or fever) and provide direct patient contact should be tested for COVID19 regardless of travel history, and they should stay off work and self-isolate until test results are negative.
Health care workers and staff that provide direct patient care includes the following: RHA institutions; Ambulance New Brunswick, Extra Mural Program, other home health care providers, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists/technicians, long-term care providers, staff from Canadian Blood Services and health care providers in First Nations communities.
Those who have developed symptoms starting before March 20th do not require testing, as the most infectious period would have already passed at this stage. A dedicated telephone line has been set up for Health Care workers and staff to call should they develop symptoms compatible with COVID-19; (new onset/exacerbation of chronic cough or fever) at 1-833-475-0724.
With respect to employer announcements regarding a COVID-19 quarantine:
For our Part III members, please refer to your Collective Agreement, Article 25.11 “No employee shall suffer a reduction in salary when absent from work because of a quarantine ordered by a Medical Health Officer”. As a result, NBNU takes the position that if you are not COVID-19 positive, and otherwise healthy, you should be placed on leave of absence with pay during such a quarantine. If you have COVID-19 positive, you will be required to use sick time.
For our Nursing Home members, we have been advised that the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes released a memo that states:
Staff and visitors who have traveled internationally (the traveler only, and not their contact or family members) are to be restricted from the nursing home for 14 days after they have returned.
As such, if the employer asks an employee to stay home because she’s back from vacation and suspects that she may have been exposed, then the employer will grant a LOA with pay for the quarantine. If, however, the employee comes back and has symptoms, she will take sick leave for the quarantine.
How can I protect myself and my family?
General guidelines to protect yourself from infections include:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are ill.
- Staying home when you are ill.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throwing the tissue in the garbage and washing your hands; if you don’t have a tissue, sneezing or coughing into your sleeve or arm.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Early Childhood Services Portal
Should members be in need of childcare they must register to the Parent Portal. There is a toll free number – 1-833-221-9339 where parents can call as well.
It is important that all parents still continue to apply the directives around travel, self-isolation, and self monitoring as indicated in Government’s Coronovirus web page : https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/ocmoh/cdc/content/respiratory_diseases/coronavirus.html
The decision to designate facilities as emergency early learning and childcare sits with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. If there are facilities interested in offering emergency services, they should contact their Quality Assurance Monitors.
What can registered nurses do to take action on coronavirus at work?
- Comply with existing workplace infection control policies and procedures.
- Update your N-95 respirator fit testing and wear an N-95 respirator if there could be any risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- Use required droplet, contact and additional airborne precautions such as (but not limited to): gloves, gowns, face shields, respirators, goggles, powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR) (for aerosol-generating procedures, e.g. intubation).
- STOP if you do not have the required personal protective equipment or properly fitted respiratory protection, and speak with your manager or supervisor; document the situation and copy your union and Joint OH&S Committee representative.
- REPORT any health and safety concerns, including gaps in adequate protocols and procedures and/or communications, training, access to PPE or other health and safety concerns to your manager or supervisor, copying your Joint OH&S Committee and your union.
Ensure your employer has:
- Consulted the Joint OH&S Committee on all measures, procedures and training with respect to COVID-19.
- An adequate supply of appropriate N95 respirators on hand as well as PAPR (for aerosol-generating procedures, e.g. intubation).
- Conducted a risk assessment to determine all points of potential entry (and how to restrict them) and other points of potential exposure for workers (e.g. screening, triage, isolation rooms).
- In place relevant travel screening and worksite/unit exposure controls.
- In place suitable structural barriers (e.g., ceiling-to-floor plexiglas barriers at triage and registration).
- Completed respirator fit testing and training for all health care workers at risk.
- Dedicated teams of clinicians who are protected with and trained in the use of proper personal protective equipment for 2019-nCoV, including teams trained in the use of N-95 respirators and PAPR (for aerosol-generating procedures), who are ready to respond and care for both confirmed cases and individuals who may be under investigation.
- Airborne infection isolation rooms available.
Questions or concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your Labour Relations Officer or email NBNU at email@example.com.