SARM Response and Recommendations Regarding COVID-19
SARM wishes to reassure our members that we are taking measures in our operations to reduce the risk of exposure for our organization and membership. We are working to ensure that our services and ability to respond to your needs will not be adversely affected as this situation evolves. If you are looking for up to date medical information and advisories please visit the province’s emerging public health issues page for the most current status of the outbreak and measures the provincial government is taking to prevent the spread of the virus and protect our citizens. Please find highlights from provincial and federal announcements as well as a link to FCM resources for municipalities at the bottom of this document.
Protecting your health is a key priority to SARM. We recommend that you review and follow the recommendations from Saskatchewan Health, which include:
- Wash your hands often and well;
- Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched;
- Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill;
- Contact your primary health provider or Health Link 811 if you have questions or concerns about your health; and
- When sick, cover your coughs and sneezes, and then wash your hands.
As an organization, we recommend that you implement a plan to save time and resources. Plans should consider:
- Providing information about COVID-19 to employees, outlining symptoms and criteria to watch for;
- Requiring employees to advise their manager of vacation plans and travel;
- Communicating steps an employee is required to take if they begins to experience symptoms, including self-isolation or quarantine, and the effect the same will have on compensation;
- Reviewing sick leave benefits with employees;
- Increase work area hygiene by cleaning door handles, desks, phones, etc. daily, and providing hand sanitation supplies;
- Limiting in-person meetings and utilizing technology (e.g. video conferencing) where available;
- Ensuring staff have access and tools needed in the event of removal of work access; and
- Keeping voicemail, website, and / or social media updated regarding changes to your operations.
This is not an exhaustive list as there are many things for each organization to consider in their plans for the future. Please consider reviewing tips and best practices from any governing bodies you may be subscribed to. You may also wish to review the WCB site and Chartered Professionals in Human Resources site for more information.
View list of FCM resources for municipalities
Highlights from provincial and federal government announcements:
- The Saskatchewan government is closing pre K-12 schools effective March 20 after pressure from teachers and parents.
- The province is tightening rules on visitation to long-term care homes, hospitals and group homes.
- The City of Regina is closing its leisure centres. Saskatoon has shut down many of its facilities.
- COVID-19 is changing our way of life. Here’s what’s getting cancelled in our province.
- An expanded testing site opens in Prince Albert on Monday.
- At last count, there are six cases of the COVID-coronavirus in Saskatchewan. Five are presumptive positive, one of them has been confirmed by a lab in Winnipeg.
- None of the patients so far require hospitalization. All are self-isolating. All cases are linked to recent travel.
- Canadian border is closed to non-Canadian citizens. Currently Americans are still allowed in.
- Canadians travelling abroad are encouraged to return home.
- International flights will only be accepted into Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver airports in order to properly and consistently screen incoming passengers.