Like all of you, we have been watching the news and reading updates from our employers, the various levels of government and health agencies about COVID-19, which has now been declared a pandemic. It is a worrisome time for all of us and we want to respond to this crisis in the best way possible.
First and foremost, like with any health crisis, we recognize that while the general public is asked to self-isolate, you are asked to work even harder. As always, Albertans are relying on you, the health care professionals, to do what you do to help them recover.
For this reason, it is critical that we take every possible precaution to keep you well. We are meeting with your employers on a regular basis and are collaborating with them to ensure your health and safety as well as the health and safety of your patients and clients.
Resources exist for your protection. Please use them. This includes eyewear and disposable gowns. This includes following proper protocols for donning and doffing personal protective equipment. Members working in unpredictable environments, such as EMS, or who are likely to be participating in aerosol generating procedures, must ensure you have been fit tested for a N-95 within the past two years. If you have not been fitted, reach out to your supervisor.
HSAA’s position is N-95 respirators are necessary for your protection and a N-95 respirator should be used by health-care professionals for all probable or confirmed COVID-19 patient interactions.
Internally, HSAA has made the decision to cancel all scheduled workshops and gatherings and where possible, conducting any meetings via electronic means. For now, we are working on a two-week timeline, meaning these events are officially cancelled until March 27. On Monday, we will re-evaluate the situation and make a decision about any further cancellations. Please monitor the Member Hub for ongoing updates.
We will also stop publishing non-HSAA events such as conferences, rallies, info-pickets, etc. until the situation becomes normalized.
For the most recent updates on COVID-19 in Alberta, please visit this website. Please also continue to monitor the information sent to you by your employer.
This is an overwhelming time with information coming in constantly. We are working collaboratively to achieve the best possible outcomes for all Albertans. You need to feel comfortable asking questions of your employer related to procedures during this time of uncertainty. And we want you to have an environment where you are given the time to follow procedures correctly – take the time.
HSAA will support you in this. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the HSAA Members’ Resource Centre at 1-844-280-4722.