"We are calling on the government and NSHA to ensure a mandatory masking policy for visitors is in place at all hospitals in our province. It is the safe and responsible thing to do." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
Halifax (23 June 2020) — On June 17, the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) announced they would begin lifting visitor restrictions at hospitals throughout our province. While this is obviously exciting news for patients, the lack of a mandatory masking policy for visitors is alarming, as it will leave both patients and health care workers vulnerable to potential infection.
Lifting restrictions without proper precautions puts people at risk
"I find it shocking that government would allow the Health Authority to implement a policy that clearly will expose vulnerable Nova Scotians and the health care workers we all are counting on during this pandemic to COVID-19," said NSGEU President Jason MacLean.
"Since March 15, we have heard the Premier and Chief Medical Officer lecture us on a daily basis about controlling the spread of this virus, and here we have them allowing it march right into our hospitals' front doors," said MacLean.
"While visitors will be screened and must observe physical distancing guidelines, we know that many cases are spread via people who are infected but have no symptoms, and they are sure to come into contact with many people and surfaces while they are in the hospital visiting their loved ones," noted MacLean.
"We are calling on the government and NSHA to ensure a mandatory masking policy for visitors is in place at all hospitals in our province. It is the safe and responsible thing to do."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE