A UBC COVID-19 Hotline will be available starting Monday!
Members will be able to call in to have questions answered regarding situations they may be in due to the effects of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Memo from EST (Week 1)
Brothers and Sisters:
Update on ACRC Response to the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency
A month ago, we could never have imagined that our provinces, our country and the world we live in could have changed so dramatically. As COVID-19 continues to rapidly spread we must ensure we take all possible safety precautions as advised by medical officials and government. In response to those recommendations, last week the Atlantic Canada Regional Council closed our doors to our membership and the public. However, members can still reach us by phone, email, or by texting. If a member needs to see a representative in person, this can be arranged by calling ahead to make an appointment. We are working with a skeleton crew in our offices, but we are still here to serve you.
During difficult times such as these stresses can be at a maximum. Social distancing is a difficult practice for Atlantic Canadians who are normally community-oriented people. Many members and their families are confined to their homes with toddlers, adolescents or teens that are bored out of their minds, or with elderly parents who require special care. Some members have to live alone, as they sit home day in and day out. In addition, finances are uncertain for many. I encourage members to utilize the services provided by our health and welfare plan if the stresses become more than they can handle. In addition, most provincial governments are offering extra services at this time. We will post links to these resources on our website, and send out contact information via email as it becomes available.
The economic impact COVID-19 is having on our membership and their families is very severe. Two weeks ago, there were close to 5000 members working or in the process of being dispatched in Atlantic Canada and, with the work that was about to start in the coming weeks, we expected that number to reach close to 6000. Today that number has plummeted to approximately 1600. This is a result of most of the larger industrial sites closing and some of the commercial sites reducing workforce numbers to comply with the mandated social distancing policies. Another factor is that many members did not feel safe for a variety of reasons – their own health issues, or health issues of loved ones at home. Each individual member must do what is best for themselves and their families at this time and, whatever their choice, it should be respected.
No one can truly prepare for what I can only describe as the “unimaginable”. Having said that, I will continue to work with the Executive Board and Delegates of the Atlantic Canada Regional Council to ensure that we have a solid plan in place to assist our members through this challenging time, and to ensure that our offices and our membership are well prepared when work commences in the coming weeks. As services and assistance come available, we will keep you informed.
Taking a moment throughout your day to call someone who may be struggling with the self- isolation rules, overwhelmed financially, or simply scared of what is happening around us, is a positive step that may make them and you feel supported during this negative situation. We are versatile people and we will get through this. We are proud Atlantic Canadians. Stay healthy, stay safe and God Bless.
ACRC Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Newsletters from Regional Managers
What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.
COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.
There have been 2 other specific coronaviruses that have spread from animals to humans and which have caused severe illness in humans. These are the:
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV)
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV)
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.
Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known incubation period for this disease. We are currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered less common.
Symptoms have included:
- difficulty breathing
- pneumonia in both lungs
In severe cases, infection can lead to death.
Prevention and Risk
Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
- respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
- close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread is efficient when there is close contact.