Brothers and Sisters,
Over the past 36 hours there has been a lot of discussion with regards to a possible COVID-19 issue at the Kitchener Delivery Centre (KDC). I want to let you, the members, know exactly what the Union knows at this time.
I have already had a conversation with Local Management on this issue and have consulted with our National Director of the Ontario Region. I want to emphasize that this information below is second hand information. We have not talked directly to the employee that is involved. However, I still felt it best to let you know what we know.
This employee had no contact and was not within the area of the plant boundaries that are located within the walls of the Kitchener Mail Processing Plant.
An employee who was working in KDC on March 19th & 20th/20 is at home under Self Quarantine. This employee has not been in the building since March 20th/20.
The employee did not start to show any type of symptoms until Saturday March 21st/20. The employee did contact the Regional Health Unit. They went thru the on phone assessment and were advised to Self Quarantine. At this time there has been no testing done. This is due to the fact that the Regional Health Unit is following this process when it comes to testing:
The following groups have been prioritized for testing:
- Individuals admitted to hospital with acute respiratory illness
- Health care workers and essential service providers with acute respiratory illness
- Individuals with acute respiratory illness who reside in long term care homes and retirement homes
- Individuals with acute respiratory illness who reside in other institutions and as directed by local public health officials
- Health care workers as part of a health care institutional outbreak and as directed by local public health officials
This is directly from the Region of Waterloo Health website. At this time there is NO evidence to prove that this employee actually has the COVID 19 virus.
The Union does NOT have the authority to demand that the Regional Health Unit do a test on this employee. That authority lies with the Health Unit to make the determination if one is required.
I am meeting again tomorrow with Local management to get more information and history with regards to this employee.
The Local is also attempting to come up with ways to try to have the cases in all depots cleaned on a daily basis. This could possibly involve the Health & Safety committees.
I want to remind everyone to self monitor yourselves. If you feel that you have any symptoms that are remotely matching those of possible COVID-19 you need to advise your management team lead and Self Quarantine.
I will advise the members if more information becomes available with regards to this issue.
Steve Hinschberger, President, Local 560