Protecting yourself during the coronavirus outbreak
The well-being of our members is a top priority for UNITE HERE Local 75. We are following the spread of a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) that was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China.
There are currently a limited number of cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in Canada and the risk of contracting the virus in the GTA remains low.
However, due to the nature of their work, our members come in contact with people from around the world, so it is advised that they practice extra diligence throughout this outbreak.
We will continue to monitor and advise our members when there are any significant changes. For the most up-to-date information, visit Health Canada’s website frequently.
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that originate in animals but are known to cause respiratory illness in humans, particularly during the fall and winter months. Other novel coronaviruses have included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
A number of coronaviruses infect humans every year, and there are four in particular that cause the common cold. The symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to the cold or flu.
The situation is rapidly evolving and Public Health Ontario, along with the Ministry of Health, is closely monitoring the outbreak, conducting surveillance and appropriate laboratory testing, and providing public health and infection control guidance.
What are the symptoms of the virus?
Symptoms are usually mild to moderate and can include:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Full-body rash
Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have the virus. Monitor your symptoms and contact your healthcare provider if they worsen.
You should stay home from work if you are experiencing these symptoms AND have travelled to any of the following impacted areas:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
How to prevent contracting a virus
Most respiratory viruses, like the flu or the coronavirus, are transmitted by droplets (primarily coughing and sneezing). There are simple things you can do to prevent transmitting it to others:
- clean your hands
- avoid touching your face
- stay home if you feel like you’re getting sick
- and cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve, rather than your hands