A Q&A Guide for CUPE Health Care Workers in Ontario
Coronavirus – COVID-2019
The following guide is based on the most recent information related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) that emerged from Wuhan, China in late December 2019. Information about the virus is gathered every day. Knowledge about how the virus is transmitted has yet to be fully understood. For this reason, CUPE is recommending that health care settings adopt the precautionary principle towards infection prevention and control of COVID-19.
The precautionary principle means taking action to prevent infection from potentially serious viruses without having to wait for complete scientific proof that a course of action is necessary. While there is continued uncertainty that the virus is not spread through the air, we must conduct ourselves as if it were.
This Q&A guide can be used for most health care workplaces, including acute care settings, residential facilities, home care, and paramedic services.
Disclaimer: This Q&A guide is not legal advice and is subordinate to the Occupational Health and Safety Act R.S.O. 1990 c 0.1 and the regulations. Please refer to the Ministry of Labour, CUPE National Health and Safety branch materials, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long-Term Care and the various government health agencies for further information and guidance. This guide does not address Federal occupation health and safety legislation. The incorporation of any recommendation must take into consideration the Ontario Human Rights Code as well as privacy and confidentiality legislation.