With CONEXPO ongoing this week and the 2020 construction season kicking off, SHCA is advising all members to ensure they have the proper preventative measures in place to address any potential exposure to COVID-19.
Safety is always a priority on jobsites and managing the risk of COVID-19 should be no exception. Simply from a human resources perspective, tradespeople can’t work from home, so we strongly encourage employers to provide common sense advice about the simple actions employees are expected to take to reduce the risk. We also suggest they have a clear policy regarding when workers should stay home, enforce sanitary standards in portable washrooms and keep hand sanitizer stocked when running water isn’t available.
The following are guidelines for workers/travelers:
It is important for all travelers to monitor their health when they return to Canada. While abroad, you may have come in contact with COVID-19. Monitor for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada. If you have these symptoms, contact HealthLine 811 for assessment and direction.
The research and data on COVID-19 continues to grow and evolve. Advice for travelers will be updated based on the latest science available.
The public health risk associated with COVID-19 remains low for Canada. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available.
Symptoms of coronavirus
Common signs include respiratory symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Older people or those with chronic illnesses may be at higher risk for a more severe form of the disease.
Treatment of coronavirus
Like most respiratory illnesses, most people with common coronavirus illness will recover on their own. There is no specific treatment for disease caused by a novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can and should be treated. If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold, see a health care provider or call Healthline at 811. If you are planning to see your health care provider or go to the emergency room, please call ahead and explain your symptoms and travel history so they can make appropriate safety accommodations.
How to protect yourself against coronavirus
Currently, there is no approved vaccine that protects against coronaviruses in humans.
As a respiratory illness, the best method to protect yourself against coronavirus is to practice everyday preventive actions, including:
- Practice proper cough and sneezing etiquette (into the bend of your elbow);
- Wash your hands often with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Maintain safe food practices; and
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
There is no evidence that surgical masks protect persons who are not sick. The World Health Organization does not recommend the use of any masks if you do not have a travel history and respiratory symptoms. If you have respiratory symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing and a relevant travel history, you should wear a surgical/procedure mask when seeking medical care at a health facility. If you are going to a health care facility for treatment of your respiratory illness and do not have a mask, ask for one at the admission desk and one will be provided to you.