Covid 19 Updates

Dear Members,

NJNU met with HR, CNO, and DON in a collaborative effort to address the Corona Virus.

Here are some important points from the meeting:

1. How is the latest information about Covid 19 being communicated to the employees:

Required learning module on the Covid 19 released in February to all employees, literature, Q & A’s on the communication portal “the Bridge” as well as emails, webinar employee forums, and daily huddles. In addition, ongoing policies on communicable diseases on the Bridge.

2. How will payment of employees be handled in case of employees with positive

Tests? Confirmed exposure? Quarantined?

This will depend:

If an employee has a confirmed exposure at work and needs to be quarantined they will be paid by the medical center.

If the employee is exposed at work, contracts the virus, then a workers compensation claim is filed.

If the employee is sick; however did not contract the virus at work, sick, vacation, or holiday time maybe used along with disability.

3. How will absences/occurrences be handled as a result of any incidences in #2.

According to the policy and/or dependent on actual circumstances. The goal is to encourage minimizing the spread of the virus. If an employee is sick they should contact their personal MD, and then call Corporate Care. Also employees are encouraged to use RWJBH Telemed option.

4. Does the hospital have enough supplies? N95, hand sanitizer, ventilators, hepafilters, etc

No way to predict that the hospital won’t run out of supplies, it’s a worldwide problem. Right now they do and the hospital continues to order supplies. 12 more hepafilter machines were ordered. N95s are in short supply and are on back order.

5. Visitor restriction?

All children restricted under the age of 16, further restrictions will go in effect on 3/13 (check visitor update). The information desk and security guards have a script to question visitors when they come to the hospital regarding recent travel. If there is any question as to whether a visitor should be allowed the volunteers, receptionist, and security guards have a list of nursing admin cell phone numbers.

6. Employee training?

Dunning and doffing guidelines being reviewed, besides information in #1.

7. Cleaning (with approved CDC cleaning solutions) has been increased to every 2

hours and every 3-4 hours on the floors. Extra staff brought in for cleaning.

Self-service sanctions will be in place in cafeteria.

8. Everyday at 4pm Corporate has a call with the CDC and that information is

relayed to the leadership and HR.

9. Testing?

No capability for testing at the hospital at this time.

The hospital stated that this is a fluid situation and is changing by the minute and that they are committed to keeping the Union and our members updated. NJNU will keep you updated as we are.

Also NJNU and other NJ Unions are collaborating to put out a press release. As a group we will be having a social media rally tomorrow from 12n-3pm, further details to follow. Unions are working together to protect and communicate for our members collectively.

In response to the Covid-19 epidemic, Rep. Robert Scott Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Education & Labor introduced HR 6139, "The COVID-19 Worker Protection Act of 2020. Take action to urge your US Representatives to Support HR 6139.

This bill directs the Secretary of Labor to issue an emergency temporary standard requiring certain employers to develop and implement a comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plan to protect employees in health care sectors and other employees at elevated risk from exposure to SARS–CoV–2. Although the CDC has issued guidance to protect health care workers, it is not binding and there is no enforceable OSHA standard to protect workers from airborne infectious diseases.

In addition to the introduction of HR 6139, OSHA has received two petitions calling for an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19. This emergency standard is vital for protecting front-line workers in healthcare and other high-risk occupations.

Take action now: Tell your representative to support H.R. 6139 - the Covid-19 Health Care Worker Protection Act.