What you need to know about COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic that is spreading across the world and affecting a high percentage of the population.

COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that includes these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia in both lungs

Please seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms. In more severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia, severe breathing problems, kidney failure, and even death. UFCW Canada and its Local Unions are assessing the situation daily and we encourage everyone to follow the recommendations laid out by all levels of government.

UFCW Canada and its Local Unions are actively monitoring this issue and working with employers to ensure that all government recommended precautions are in place as the pandemic unfolds.

It is important at times like this that we care for one another. To help prevent transmission of COVID-19, you can take the following steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill;
  • Stay home when you are ill;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
  • Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada; and
  • Practice social distancing as much as possible.

If you have traveled outside of Canada recently, the Government of Canada is requiring you to:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days after your return from travel outside of Canada if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Do not have visitors, especially older adults or those with medical conditions, while self-isolating; 
  • Monitor your health for fever, cough, or difficulty breathing;
  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing;
  • Go immediately to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle, if you have symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Isolate in a place where you will not be in contact with vulnerable people if you have symptoms of COVID-19; and
  • All travellers upon arrival must present viable self-isolation plans. Travellers without a proper plan must go to a place designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. This may also be facilitated by the RCMP.

Effective immediately, if you have been experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you will be denied boarding on all domestic flights and inter-city passenger trains in Canada, unless you can produce a medical certificate stating that your symptoms are not COVID-19 related.

Staying informed with good, credible information is also vital when dealing with a public health emergency. Please follow advice from your local health authority – which may change as the situation evolves – to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We also recommend that UFCW Canada members, allies, and members of the public visit the following sites to stay up to date:

With respect to the food and beverage retail sectors, UFCW Canada members are on the front lines working to help Canadians get the food, beverages, supplies, and sanitation products they need to stay healthy and safe. Our union is asking members of the public who are ill, recently traveled abroad, or are presenting symptoms of COVID-19 to please stay home to avoid putting workers and their families at risk.

By working together and following the advice of our governments and public health officials, we can help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect our collective wellbeing.

* NOTE: This fact sheet will be updated as new details and advisories emerge from the Government of Canada and public health officials. *