Local 302 Members: As the novel coronavirus, a.k.a. COVID-19, outbreak continues to expand, so have all of our concerns.
The total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed or presumed positive in the United States is still low -- just north of 200 total cases. Of these, there have been a growing number of fatalities, with many of these concentrated in a single nursing home in Washington, as health authorities have emphasized that the fatality rate is higher among the elderly and those with underlying health problems.
It is likely that the number of cases will increase so it is important to plan for a variety of scenarios. At this early stage of the outbreak in this country the best thing to do is stay informed and be prepared to alter plans when needed. Local 302 is committed to doing what we can to keep our members safe by requesting that our employers institute workplace policies and guidance to reduce the risk of infection. We expect a workplace where employees feel free to communicate their health and safety concerns without fear of reprisal or negative impacts on pay or employment.
We are vigilantly evaluating the situation daily and will continue to discuss contingency plans to be able to continue the work of the union without jeopardizing the health of our employees. We will issue new instructions or recommendations as the conditions change and will communicate the information to you.
Steps you can take to prevent the flu and the common cold will also help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus:
• Wash hands often with soap and water. If that’s not available, use hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
If you have symptoms and were exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient, call both your health care provider. You can also call the state coronavirus hotline at 800-525-0127. If you have symptoms but don’t know if you were exposed, don’t head straight to the emergency room or urgent care, where you might infect others. Call your doctor about whether, when and where you should be evaluated.