On behalf of Nancy Chahwan, Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Guidance on COVID-19 and Informational Products
As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving across Canada, and in each of our communities and workplaces, we want to reassure Justice employees that we take your workplace health and safety very seriously. We are writing to you today to outline some of the steps being taken to support sound decision-making, continued operations and the well-being of our employees.
The worldwide situation related to Covid-19 is evolving quickly. I am sharing the latest guidance developed collaboratively with Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and others to mitigate the workplace consequences of COVID-19 in federal workplaces.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization confirmed COVID-19 as a controllable pandemic amid well-studied efforts to slow the spread of the infection.
We must all be following the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada workplace-specific guidance on the GCintranet as well as the direction of local public health authorities when specific cases arise. The authoritative source of information for Canadians on COVID-19 is Canada.ca/coronavirus, which includes public health guidance on travel. Managers and employees must be consulting this site on a daily basis. Information is also available on the Government of Canada COVID-19 Information Line at 1 833-784-4397.
In addition to these sources of information, I am sharing other documents that will also be posted on GCintranet:
- Health Canada’s updated Occupational Health Guidance for federal public servants, which includes various scenarios
- Answers to frequently asked questions
This week, TBS, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency, also received numerous questions about self-isolation. In some cases, employees may be asked by local public health authorities to self-isolate or self-monitor. We need to take this consistent approach when dealing with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Self-isolate when you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or when local public health authorities have identified you as a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID 19.
Self-isolation means limiting contact with others.
- Do not leave home unless absolutely necessary, such as to seek medical care.
- Do not go to school, work or other public areas and do not use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
- Arrange to have groceries and supplies dropped off at your door to minimize contact.
- If possible, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home.
- If you have to be in contact with others, keep at least 2 metres between yourself and the other person. Keep interactions brief and wear a mask.
- Avoid contact with older adults and with individuals with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
- Avoid contact with pets if you live with other people who may also touch the pet.
If you have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 or identified as a close contact of someone with COVID 19, you should self-monitor for symptoms of respiratory illness. Self-monitoring means monitoring yourself for fever, cough and difficulty breathing and avoiding places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others if you become ill.
If you develop symptoms of respiratory illness, stay home, contact your local public health authority, and follow their instructions.
In order to avoid overburdening the health care system, unless a manager has a bona fide reason to question an employee’s declaration that they must self-isolate, no medical certificate should be requested.
I will keep you updated as this situation evolves.
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