COVID-19 Updates

Attention Members: COVID-19

Please read the following communications from International Vice-President Arnie Stadnick:

May 22: A gradual return to work and normality (PDF)
March 26: COVID-19 and it's impact on IBB Canada (PDF)
March 16: Coronavirus (COVID-19) (PDF)

Updated: COVID-19 and your Plan

Frequently Asked Questions about your health and welfare and pension plans related to COVID-19 (check for updates; new updates will be issued periodically): NEW LINK:

September 9, 2020

COVID Alert: Canada’s COVID-19 exposure notification app

The new COVID Alert app is designed to let Canadians know whether they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Currently live in Ontario and Newfoundland with the goal of a national roll out. How the COVID Alert app works:



Click image to download poster (PDF)


Download the COVID Alert App today to protect yourself and others:


September 1, 2020

International Overdose Awareness Day

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day. During COVID-19, many areas are reporting opioid-related overdoses, affecting our families, friends and neighbours. Learn the signs and symptoms here:

Opioid Overdoses: What To Do (PDF)


August 27, 2020

COVID-19 Situational Awareness Dashboard

Want to learn more about how the COVID-19 outbreak is evolving in Canada? Use the updated interactive Public Health Agency of Canada's Situational Awareness Dashboard to find information at the national, provincial/territorial and regional health levels.


August 20, 2020

Flu (influenza): Get your flu shot

On an average year, Health Canada recommends everyone 6 months and older should get the annual flu shot. The flu shot is your best defence against the seasonal flu. It can save lives by:

  • protecting you, if you are exposed to the virus
  • preventing you from getting very sick
  • protecting people close to you - because you are less likely to spread the virus

But 2020 is not an average year. Experts, such as the Canadian Medical Association, are concerned with a 'Twindemic' where a new surge of Covid-19 (that has no vaccine) and the typical flu season could overlap and overwhelm the health care system. In addition, the overlapping symptoms between Covid-19 and the flu will make it difficult for you, your employer or your healthcare provider to distinguish between the two without access to Covid-19 specific testing.

To learn more and find out where to get your flu vaccine, visit


August 4, 2020

COVID Alert App

COVID Alert, the national COVID-19 exposure notification app, is now available for download in Canada and currently being testing in Ontario. Federal and Ontario privacy commissioners have concluded their review of the COVID Alert app and support its use. Designed to help limit the spread of the virus and preventing future outbreaks. It provides notifications about potential exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 so you can take action.

Find out more:


July 21, 2020

Protect yourself against fraud

Did someone ask you to repay CERB or CEWS? Beware of fraudulent emails, texts or calls claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. Here's how to tell the difference between a scam and legitimate communications:


July 17, 2020

How close are we to a vaccine for COVID-19?

The CBC has developed a website tracking the different vaccines under development, and where they are in the pipeline. For more information:


July 9, 2020

COVID-19 Precautions

Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
  • close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread is efficient when there is close contact.

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is essential to ensure everyone is protected to minimize the risk of the infection spreading. To learn more: check out the resources tab or this updated toolbox talk (PDF).


June 24, 2020

Get the Facts on Masks

At this point during the COVID-19 pandemic, many workplaces in Canada are starting to reopen. Some businesses, especially retail and food stores, have implemented safety rules and precautions that ask customers and staff to wear masks. When worn properly, a non-medical mask or face covering can reduce the spread of the virus.

Read more: Get the Facts on Masks (CCOHS)


June 10, 2020

Hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers

How to find out which products are on Health Canada's list of hard-surface disinfectants with evidence against COVID-19:

1. Locate the Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the disinfectant product label
2. Look for that number on the Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) list


How to find out which antiseptic skin cleansers or hand sanitizers meet Health Canada's requirements for sale in Canada:

1. Locate the Natural Product Number (NPN) or Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the product label
2. Look for that number on the hand sanitizers list


Personal practices, such as proper hygiene help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available
  • keep hand sanitizers out of reach of children and always supervise them when using hand sanitizers, as ingesting even small amounts of sanitizer can be fatal


Safer Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Strategies to Reduce and Prevent COVID-19 Transmission

Proper cleaning and disinfecting are important for reducing the spread of COVID-19. This fact sheet provides best practices for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces.

Safer Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Strategies (PDF)


June 8, 2020

P.A.C.E. Yourself

Keep public health measures up to keep COVID-19 down. Pace yourself with:

Physical Distancing

Avoid touching common surfaces and objects

Clean your hands often

Extra layer with non-medical masks or face covering as needed


Click the image below to open poster (PDF):

June 4, 2020

Federal Transport Minister expands required use of face masks on planes, trains, ships and transit effective June 4th

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau is expanding the required use of face coverings on planes, trains, ships and transit to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Effective at noon on Thursday, airline flight crew and airport workers will be required to wear non-medical masks, in addition to the existing requirement for passengers. Read more here:


May 22, 2020

Benefit-Finder Tool for Emergency Aid

The Federal government has launched an online tool to help Canadians navigate the various financial benefits available during the pandemic.

Learn more here:


May 14, 2020

Financial help for Canadians affected by COVID-19

The CBC has put together a guide to the benefits that the federal government, provinces and territories are offering to people financially affected by the coronavirus. To view, click here:


April 29, 2020

Wellness Together Canada

Due to COVID-19, many people are concerned about their physical and mental wellbeing. Canadians are being challenged in a number of ways because of isolation, financial and employment uncertainty and disruptions to daily life. Wellness Together Canada provides free tools and resources to help get Canadians back on track. These include modules for addressing low mood, worry, substance use, social isolation and relationship issues.

To learn more:


April 24, 2020

April 28th, National Day of Mourning

Please read the letter below from International Vice-President Arnie Stadnick for the National Day of Mourning.

April 28th, National Day of Mourning (PDF)

Day of Mourning Posters

The following posters are provided in PDF format, click on the images to view.


April 16, 2020

Health Canada warns against 'fraudulent and unauthorized' N95 masks

Health Canada is warning Canadians about the risks of using fraudulent and unauthorized N95 masks that may not offer protection against COVID-19.

Read more: Fraudulent and unauthorized N95 respirators may not protect consumers against COVID-19


April 9, 2020

Mental Health Continuum Video

Mental Health we all have it. See how it can affect you both positively and negatively. Watch this 3-minute video and see what you can do to make yourself the best you can be. Please share it with your fellow brothers and sisters. In times like these, we need to think of our most vulnerable members. Keeping in contact goes a long way to prevent isolation.


April 8, 2020

Using masks to prevent coronavirus

In an attempt to slow the transmission of COVID-19, federal, provincial, and territorial governments in Canada have urged Canadians to limit their interactions with others, practice good personal hygiene and follow physical distancing measures, as well as to stay and work from home to the extent possible. Both the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the US CDC now recommend the voluntary use of non-medical masks or cloth face coverings for the general public where physical distancing (6 ft) is difficult to maintain. This is a departure from the original guidance on masks for the general public based on evolving research to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.

How to make your own face covering

CDC: How to make and wear a face cover (PDF)

In the following video US Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, shares ways to create your own face covering in a few easy steps.

Preventing coronavirus

The following is advice from the Government of Canada on all the ways you can prevent the spread of coronavirus, including advice on wearing masks.

Government of Canada: Preventing coronavirus


April 7, 2020

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

[Click to enlarge]

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. If you or someone you know need to apply for this benefit, please see below.

For the most up to date information including who is eligible and how to apply, please refer to the Government of Canada website.

Before you apply

  • Determine your eligibility – see Who can apply below.
  • Check your myCRA account login information - If you are applying online, double check your myCRA account username and password by signing in on the CRA Website.
  • Setup Direct Deposit - If you do not have direct deposit setup with the CRA, you can enrol online by following these instructions: Setup direct deposit with the CRA. Allow 3-5 days via direct deposit vs 10 days via cheque in the mail.
  • Determine what day you can apply - To help manage the volume, the CRA has setup specific days for you to apply based on month of birth. As of this writing (April 7, 2020), it is as follows.  If you were born in the month of:
    • January | February | March: Mondays – Best day to apply is April 6th
    • April | May | June: Tuesdays – Best day to apply is April 7th
    • July | August | September: Wednesdays – Best day to apply is April 8th
    • October | November | December: Thursdays – Best day to apply is April 9th
    • Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are open for any birth month

Who can apply

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.

Interactive: Do you qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)? (PDF)

Information related to COVID-19 is changing regularly. Members are encouraged to determine their own eligibility by applying as soon as possible here:

Background Information

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan


April 1, 2020

Canada COVID-19 App

Use the Government of Canada COVID-19 app to get all the latest info on COVID-19 in Canada. A self-assessment tool, resources, stats, updates and more:


March 30, 2020

COVID-19 text scam exploiting new emergency benefit program

There is a COVID-19 text scam posing as the new emergency response benefit. For more information see:
Trudeau warns of COVID-19 text scam exploiting new emergency benefit program (CBC)


March 24, 2020

COVID-19: A letter from International President Newton Jones

Please see the following letter from International President Newton Jones.

COVID-19: Letter to Members (PDF)


March 19, 2020

Message from IBB & BCA re COVID-19

Please click the links below for a memo and posters from IBB & BCA re COVID-19:

IBB & BCA MEMO: Coronavirus (COVID-19) (PDF)
COVID-19 Self-Assessment (PDF)
Facts About COVID-19 (PDF)
Being Prepared (PDF)
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Precautions (PDF)



March 17, 2020

EI Inquiries re COVID-19

For all EI inquiries regarding COVID-19, the government has set up a dedicated line for assistance and information:

You can also find information at:



March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Fact Sheets

For the most up to date information on COVID-19 in Canada, how to protect yourself, symptoms and treatment, travel advisories, etc visit:

For more information, see the following fact sheets:


February 11, 2020


Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The severe diseases have included:

Currently a new coronavirus has been identified in China (Wuhan City), and is known as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The case was reported on December 31st, 2019, and confirmation of the coronavirus identification occurred on January 7th, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with 2019-nCoV as low for Canada (11 Feb 2020). Note: Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available.

For more information on the novel coronavirus and basic precautions:


Current Situation

The most up to date information on the number of confirmed cases, recovered cases, # of people tested, # of deaths:

OHS Twitter Updates