Updated: Mar 13, 2020
To : All NEL employees Re : COVID-19
We would like to address the seriousness of COVID 19. The information we are all receiving is being updated by the minute. The actions that private industry and government are taken have been unprecedented in our time. We will be providing frequent updates of our company policies, but we cannot stress enough how serious this virus is and that we need to protect ourselves and people we are in contact with.
As you are aware, concerns about Coronavirus, also known as “COVID-19” are increasing throughout Canada. While the media has been quick to provide real-time updates on the spread of the virus, we highly recommend you rely on trusted and respected health services when researching and communicating about the coronavirus. These include the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) at www.canada.ca/en/public-health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov.ca and the World Health Organization (WHO) at www.who.int.
What is the Novel Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses, some that cause illness in people and others that cause illness in animals. Coronaviruses include the seasonal flu and common cold. Novel (new) coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have been previously identified in humans.
Reported symptoms can include a fever, cough, shortness of breath and may appear in as few as two to fourteen days following exposure. If you develop a cold or flu-like symptom, especially after travelling, I encourage you to call your local healthcare provider for personalized expert advice. The test for COVID-19 is a quick saliva swab that takes 2 hours for results, which will be emailed to you.
How it spreads
According to the CDC, transmission of the virus is primarily spread between people who are in close contact with one another. It is also believed that a person can be exposed to the new coronavirus by touching a compromised surface or object. However, due to the delicate nature of the virus, the CDC has stated that exposure from products or packaging that are shipped or mailed over a period of days or weeks as “very low risk”.
Prevention and Treatment
The PHAC, WHO and the CDC have recommended the following steps to help reduce the risk of exposure and to help prevent spreading the virus:
· Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer and wash for at least 20 seconds.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
· Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow, and frequently dispose of used tissues.
· Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
· Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
What we ask:
· Stay home if you feel like you have cold or flu-like symptoms: Fever, Cough and Shortness of Breath
· Be aware of current impacted areas: China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Cruise ships and Washington State
· As an extra precaution, we ask that any staff, visitor or customer who has recently travelled to any of the impacted areas, ortaken a cruise, or been in close contact with someone who has travelled to the impacted areas, refrain from visiting jobsites and head-office for a minimum of 14 days. If on the 15th day you are symptom-free, you may return.
· All vacation destinations must be reported to HR prior to travelling and returning to work: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe and err on the cautious side.