Knowledge about how COVID-19 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 about whether or not the virus is spread through the air, we must conduct ourselves as if it is. For that reason, CUPE is recommending that health care workers who are in direct contact (within 2 meters) with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 request a fit-tested, seal-checked N95 respirator covering the nose and mouth.
Federal Income Support
What was in the federal government’s March 18 announcement:
- A new Emergency Care Benefit that will apply to workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance and who are in isolation, caring for a sick family member, and/or providing childcare.
- The benefit will provide a maximum of $450 per week for up to 15 weeks.
- Parents who are unable to work because they need to provide childcare due to school closures are eligible even if they do qualify for EI.