According to the World Health Organization (“WHO”) the most common symptoms of COVID-19 (“virus”) include fever, cough, tiredness and loss of taste or smell. The less common symptoms include aches and pains, headache, sore throat, red or irritated eyes, diarrhoea, a skin rash or discolouration of fingers or toes. The most serious symptoms include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, and loss of speech or movement. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
The virus spreads from an infected person to others through respiratory droplets and aerosols when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, shouts, or talks. The droplets vary in size, from large droplets that fall to the ground rapidly (within seconds or minutes) near the infected person, to smaller droplets, sometimes called aerosols, which linger in the air under some circumstances.
1. All employees who are suffering from virus like symptoms must follow Federal, Provincial, State or Public Health requirements and recommendations. Employees must provide daily status updates to their Supervisor, Manager or designate by phone, text or email.
Payment of wages (not diagnosed with the virus): As per Divisional Leadership discretion, individuals may have the option of working from home and remaining on regular payroll during this time. For instances where working from home is not an option, these individuals will have the option of using banked overtime, vacation time, sick days, or utilizing government benefits where available. Otherwise, time missed from work will be unpaid.
2.All employees who test positive for COVID-19 (“virus”) must self isolate as per Federal, Provincial, State or Public Health requirements or recommendations, whether they test positive with a rapid antigen test or a Polymerase Chain Reaction (“PCR”) test. The period of self isolation after testing positive for the virus varies by Public Health region and takes into consideration factors, including, but not limited to; an individual’s vaccination status, symptoms and whether their symptoms are improving.
WGI encourages and recommends all employees who test positive for the virus to self isolate for a minimum of five (5) days from the date the test was taken, even if it is no longer a Federal, Provincial, State or Public Health requirement or recommendation. This is to keep from spreading the virus and making others sick.
The employee will be required to submit medical documentation confirming diagnosis to WGI and it will also be required to apply for benefits. Medical documentation must not be brought in personally, and will need to be faxed, emailed, texted, etc to the employee’s HR Representative. Employees may require clearance from a medical practitioner prior to returning to work.
Payment of wages: As per Divisional Leadership discretion, employees who have tested positive may have the option of working from home and remaining on regular payroll during a self isolation period. For instances when working from home is not an option, these employees will have the option of using banked overtime, vacation time, sick days, applying for short-term disability or utilizing government benefits where available. Otherwise, time missed from work will be unpaid.
Monitoring and tracking employee absenteeism will continue as per existing procedure. Absenteeism rates will be shared with Senior Management on a weekly basis.
At minimum, all international travelers must abide by Federal, Provincial, State or Public Health travel restrictions and requirements (i.e., self-isolation requirements, covid testing, etc).
In accordance with WGI protocols, Federal, Provincial, State or Public Health regulations, employees are required to comply with this protocol as a condition of employment, as well as for the health and safety of themselves, their colleagues, and the community. Employee non-compliance will be addressed by Sr. Management in conjunction with Human Resources and may include disciplinary action up to termination.
Contractor, vendor, or visitor non-compliance will be addressed by local management and may include the removal of the individual from WGI property.
Payment of wages: As per Divisional Leadership discretion, individuals may have the option of working from home and remaining on regular payroll for a period of time as determined by the company. For instances where working from home is not an option, these individuals will have the option of using banked overtime, vacation time or utilizing government benefits where available.
WGI will make reasonable accommodations (flex-time solutions, shifting plant work days for some, etc) to the point of undue hardship on a case-by-case basis as required by Provincial and State human rights legislation.
Employees are encouraged to source the latest information regarding the virus through knowledgeable and credible outlets such as the WHO, The Center of Disease Control as well as Federal, Provincial and State Health Agencies. HR and H&S will ensure WGI COVID-19 communications are distributed to all employees in mass emails, posted in one or more consistent area(s), to be established at each location, and posted on the intranet and on our newly created website.
According to the World Health Organization (“WHO”) common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Spread of the virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing, usually after close contact with an infected individual, for example, in a household, workplace, or health care centre.
What can employees do to reduce the spread of the virus in the workplace?
• Monitor and abide by the Federal, State and Provincial Health recommendations and mandatory requirements.
• All employees must wash their hands with soap and water immediately upon entering a WGI facility. Thereafter, employees must frequently wash their hands with soap and water, especially before and/or after eating, using the washroom, coming into physical contact with another person, coughing or sneezing. This includes before and after handling internal and external documentation (mail, cheques, payables, etc). If available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used if soap and water are not available. Where applicable, employees will be granted an additional amount of time during work hours to complete these required hygiene techniques.
• Employees must use letter openers when opening mail, envelopes, courier packages, etc and immediately dispose of the envelope, box, packing material, etc. All employees must wash their hands with soap and water immediately after handling these items. All employees must also wash their hands before and after handling internal and external documentation (mail, cheques, payables, etc). Workstations and desks must be cleaned and sanitized as appropriate however, workstations and desks must be cleaned and sanitized after handling external items (packages, mail, documentation, etc).
• Cover your cough by coughing into your elbow or sleeve or use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Immediately throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and wash your hands.
• Maintain your health by taking care of yourself and those in your care including eating a healthy balanced diet, avoiding cigarette smoke and other harmful substances, being active and getting enough rest and sleep.
• Employees must refrain from all forms of physical greetings (hand shake, fist pump, elbow tap, etc).
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth and ears as this is a method for germs to enter your respiratory system.
• Avoid large crowds as stipulated by Federal, State and Provincial Health recommendations and mandatory requirements.
• Don’t share eating utensils or drinks.
• Where possible, maintain a 2-metre social distance from others while in common areas (lunch rooms, boardrooms, meeting rooms, training rooms, locker rooms, coffee areas, high traffic access doors, etc.). Employees who have serious chronic medical conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, etc) should observe a 4-metre social distance from others.
• All common areas (lunch rooms, boardrooms, meeting rooms, training rooms, locker rooms, coffee areas, high traffic access doors, etc.) must be cleaned and sanitized after each use and/or for each shift. Where possible, high traffic doors must be propped open to avoid unnecessary physical contact with the door.
• Commonly used items such as: telephones, keyboards, lunch room and washroom door handles, washroom taps, etc. must be cleaned as appropriate.
• Employees who are well but who have an ill household member with a confirmed case of the virus must remain away from work. The Employee should notify the appropriate health authority and the employee must notify their supervisor of their situation. Divisional Leader approval will be required prior to the employee’s return to work.
1) Employees suffering from virus like symptoms must remain away from work, and should follow Federal, Provincial, or State medical recommendations and/or guidelines. Keep away from others as much as possible by self isolating. This is to keep from spreading the virus and making others sick. Employees must provide daily status updates to their Supervisor, Manager or designate by phone, text or email.
2) Upon diagnosis of the virus from a medical practitioner; you may be required to submit medical documentation confirming your diagnosis and it may be required if you apply for benefits. If required, medical documentation must not be brought in personally, and will need to be faxed, emailed, texted, etc to your HR Representative.
3) Employees will be required to stay home for the period of time as advised by the medical practitioner and may require clearance from a medical practitioner to return to work.
4) Payment of wages - benefits:
a. Option 1: Short Term Disability (“STD”). STD forms will be mailed to the employee.
b. Option 2: Protective Leave benefits offered through Federal, State or Provincial legislation (Sick Leave).
5) Monitoring and tracking employee absenteeism will continue as per existing procedure. Absenteeism rates will be shared with Senior Management on a weekly basis.
6) As per HR direction, medical clearance may be required prior to returning to work. If required, medical clearance documentation must not be brought in personally, and will need to be faxed, emailed, texted etc to your HR Representative.
Customers / Third Party Deliveries & Pick up / Nonemployees / Noncustomers
Signage will be posted at each public entrance advising that non-employees are to remain in their vehicles and that they are not permitted to enter the building until further notice (family members, 3rd party sales representatives, food delivery, taxis, ride sharing, etc). Order desk personnel, shippers and receivers will attend to these individuals while social distancing themselves as they remain in their vehicles.
All business travel by air must be discussed with the Divisional Leader and final approval must be received from WGI.
As per the Canadian Federal Government’s direction, all international travelers upon their return to Canada, are to self-isolate at home for the 14 days subsequent to their return, whether they have virus like symptoms or not. Divisional Leaders are required to provide the WGI HR Director with the following information: employee name, job title, branch location, international location returning from and date of return to Canada.
Payment of wages: As per Divisional Leadership discretion, individuals may have the option of working from home and remaining on regular payroll during this 14-day self-isolation period. For instances where working from home is not an option, these individuals will have the option of using banked overtime, vacation time, or to apply for government benefits.
Many jurisdictions have closed public schools and/or day cares effective immediately or in a week’s time.
Payment of wages: As per Divisional Leadership discretion, individuals may have the option of working from home and remaining on regular payroll for a period of time as determined by the company. For instances where working from home is not an option, these individuals will have the option of using banked overtime, vacation time or paid provincial legislated leaves. The government may extend leave benefits in the future. To the extent required and to the extent possible the company may accommodate (flex-time solutions, shifting plant work days for some, etc) employees whose ability to work their regular hours will be impacted by their child care needs.
Employees are encouraged to source the latest information regarding the virus through knowledgeable and credible outlets such as the WHO, The Center of Disease Control as well as Federal, State and Provincial Health Agencies. HR and H&S will ensure all updates are made available in a timely fashion to all employees in mass emails, in memos posted in one or more consistent area(s), to be established, in each location, on the intranet and on our newly created website.
It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone reacts differently, and your own feelings will change over time. Notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include
People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
Things you can do to support yourself
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.
Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include
There are many things you can do to support your child
As an employee of WGI Westman Group Inc, you and your immediate family have access to employee and family assistance provider Homewood Health. Homewood Health offers free and confidential services such as stress management, mental wellness, assessments, outpatient and inpatient treatment, recovery management, return to work and family support services customized to meet the needs of you and your immediate family.
To access Homewood Health Employee and Family Assistance services, call (800) 663-1142 or by visiting https://homewoodhealth.com
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air. See previous answer on “How does COVID-19 spread?”
The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings.
The risk of catching COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person appears to be low. While initial investigations suggest the virus may be present in feces in some cases, spread through this route is not a main feature of the outbreak. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share new findings. Because this is a risk, however, it is another reason to clean hands regularly, after using the bathroom and before eating.
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.
Protection measures for everyone
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.
Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading
Follow the guidance outlined above (Protection measures for everyone)
Self-isolate by staying at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low grade fever (37.3 C or above) and slight runny nose, until you recover. If it is essential for you to have someone bring you supplies or to go out, e.g. to buy food, then wear a mask to avoid infecting other people.
Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.
Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
The risk depends on where you are - and more specifically, whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak unfolding there.
For most people in most locations the risk of catching COVID-19 is still low. However, there are now places around the world (cities or areas) where the disease is spreading. For people living in, or visiting, these areas the risk of catching COVID-19 is higher. Governments and health authorities are taking vigorous action every time a new case of COVID-19 is identified. Be sure to comply with any local restrictions on travel, movement or large gatherings. Cooperating with disease control efforts will reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
COVID-19 outbreaks can be contained and transmission stopped, as has been shown in China and some other countries. Unfortunately, new outbreaks can emerge rapidly. It’s important to be aware of the situation where you are or intend to go. WHO publishes daily updates on the COVID-19 situation worldwide.
You can see these at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.
We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement and gatherings.
Learn more about how to protect yourself at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
While we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.
No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings are available.
Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.
Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19.
The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing. (See Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus).
No. The virus that causes COVID-19 and the one that caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 are related to each other genetically, but the diseases they cause are quite different. SARS was more deadly but much less infectious than COVID-19. There have been no outbreaks of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.
Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely.
Remember, a mask should only be used by health workers, care takers, and individuals with respiratory symptoms, such as fever and cough.
Before touching the mask, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
Take the mask and inspect it for tears or holes.
Orient which side is the top side (where the metal strip is).
Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the coloured side).
Place the mask to your face. Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin.
After use, take off the mask; remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes, to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces of the mask.
Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use.
Perform hand hygiene after touching or discarding the mask – Use alcohol-based hand rub or, if visibly soiled, wash your hands with soap and water.
The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. These estimates will be updated as more data become available.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals. Occasionally, people get infected with these viruses which may then spread to other people. For example, SARS-CoV was associated with civet cats and MERS-CoV is transmitted by dromedary camels. Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed. To protect yourself, such as when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals. Ensure good food safety practices at all times. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.
While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.
The following measures ARE NOT effective against COVID-2019 and can be harmful:
Wearing multiple masks
In any case, if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early to reduce the risk of developing a more severe infection and be sure to share your recent travel history with your health care provider.