New employment and masking rules included in orders for long-term-care sites during COVID-19 pandemic

As part of the Alberta Government’s effort to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in long term care facilities, beginning on April 23 staff will be restricted to working in only one single long-term care site.

United Nurses of Alberta understands the need to restrict employees to a single site as ordered by the Chief Medical Officer of Health on Friday, April 10, but recognizes this will have a significant impact on many members of UNA. 

Key areas covered by the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s order include:

  • Restricting staff movement among worksites by all workers employed in long-term care in all long-term care facilities. The list includes auxiliary hospitals, nursing homes, designated supporting living accommodations. There are no exceptions.
  • Requiring all health care workers providing direct resident care to wear surgical/procedural masks continuously at all times throughout the workplace.
  • Ensuring masks required for staff and essential-visitor use are supplied to all facilities covered by the order are supplied by AHS, including facilities that do not have a contract with AHS.
  • Mandatory disclosure by employees to their employers of COVID-19 symptoms or contact with anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Restrictions to working within a single facility when a COVID-19 outbreak is confirmed. 

UNA members are urged to read the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s order, the explanatory memorandum by UNA Labour Relations Director David Harrigan, the list of worksites excluded from the order, and the Minister of Labour’s related order which asks employers to increase hours for employees restricted to one worksite and orders employers at other worksites to continue employees’ benefits.

If members have questions, they are encouraged to contact their UNA Labour Relations Officer at 1‑800‑252‑9394.