Staff will be provided with masks when entering the institution.
Since the beginning of this crisis, UCCO-SACC-CSN has been pushing to implement all reasonable measures for our protection and have been in constant discussion with the employer to help adapt all public health advice to our unique working environment.
As soon as Canada’s Chief Officer of Public Health’s announced that wearing non-surgical masks could help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 when social distancing measures cannot be respected, it became clear that this recommendation needed to be implemented in our institutions.
It is important to remember that this mask is not meant for your personal protection, it is simply worn to mitigate spreading the virus if a staff member may be carrying it without symptoms. Further PPE is required when in close contact with an inmate who is symptomatic or diagnosed positive with COVID-19 to protect against the virus.
Your Executive continues to work to make sure all proper PPE is available and issued when needed. If you have your own non-surgical mask, the CSC has also approved its use in the institution.
Staff will be required to wear this mask in any area that does not allow for safe social distancing. We have been advised that one mask will be given to each staff member to use for 2 shifts. This is an interim measure while CSC waits on the arrival of a recent procurement order. Once an adequate supply is in stock and shipped to each site, masks will become more readily available.
We recognize that this is not an ideal situation, but one which is needed to ensure this public health advice is implemented immediately.
CSC has also indicated that all sites will be informed of the safe handling procedures for this mask. Please contact your manager for proper instructions if they are not provided with the mask. Furthermore, the CSC has also indicated that procurement of more masks will involve a plan to provide masks to the inmate population for use when in close contact with staff or other inmates.