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September 8, 2021

Letter: Future PM must commit to robust measures to protect Canadians from COVID-19

COVID-19
Workplace Safety

The following letter was sent to all federal party leaders on September 3, 2021.

Amid a fourth wave of COVID-19 and a federal election campaign, Canada’s nurses call on you to commit to adopting robust prevention measures to protect the Canadian public and frontline workers.

We support the appeal sent to you by members of the Canadian Aerosol Transmission Coalition, which calls on you to commit to the following actions:

  • Loud, clear and consistent messaging that the SARS CoV2 virus spreads as an aerosol, making a full array of airborne transmission prevention measures necessary.
  • Enforceable standards requiring ventilation to supply clean respirable air in all workplaces, public spaces and other locations where people gather.
  • Mandated HEPA filtration units for situations with inadequate ventilation.
  • Provision of effective respiratory protection equipment (PPE) like N95s (not cloth or surgical masks) for individuals working with others at close quarters or without adequate ventilation.

With over 100,000 health care workers having been infected across the country, and the highly contagious delta variant wreaking havoc on our populations, we need to act fast to stop this virus in its tracks.

While vaccinations have been an effective tool at protecting individuals from the worst impacts of the virus, we know that fully vaccinated individuals can still contract COVID-19 and transmit it. We therefore must use every tool in the toolbox to prevent transmissions. The science tells us that transmission of the virus takes place at an airborne level, so our response must be firmly based on this reality.

Nurses are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and exhaustion after over 18 months of working on the front lines of this pandemic. It is incumbent on you, as a political leader vying to be Canada’s next prime minister, to commit in the clearest of terms your support for these vital airborne transmission prevention measures.

Sincerely,

Linda Silas
President, CFNU