UNA and AHS to meet regularly on novel Coronavirus outbreak

Occupational Health & Safety

UNA believes now is the time to check and ensure that you are fit tested for your N95 mask.

United Nurses of Alberta has reached out to Alberta Health Services to initiate regular discussions on the current worldwide outbreak of novel Coronavirus (nCoV-2019).

AHS has committed to meeting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday into the foreseeable future to provide responses to questions and supply updates as more knowledge is gathered on the new virus, its spread, virulence and measures taken to track and prevent the spread of the outbreak.

The virus was first reported on December 31, 2019, in Wuhan, China, and has since been reported in all regions of China and many other countries.

The first meeting was held on January 31, with representatives of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees also participating. UNA concerns brought to AHS included types of Personnel Protective Equipment to be used, such as N95 masks, gowns, face shields, eye goggles, as well as Right to Refuse Dangerous Work issues.

Further discussions took place on placement of patients in negative pressure rooms, guidance on receiving patients, and a request for designation of high risk areas if progression of nCov-2019 continues.

AHS committed to providing responses in upcoming meetings. UNA will inform members as AHS responses are received.

UNA believes now is the time to check and ensure that you are fit tested for your N95 mask. Fit testing is required at least every two years to verify an effective seal and comfortable respirator fit. Fit testing may be required sooner if there is a change in your facial features due to weight loss/gain, dental work, or other factors that could impact the seal of the respirator.