Joint Statement from Senator Dr. Michael Darville and Co-Chair Dr. Melissa Evans
For Immediate Release
19 March 2020
We wish to draw attention to the growing number of concerns being expressed by public servants about the lack of provision for social distancing for those working in the public service. In line with international protocols, the overwhelming evidence from countries severely impacted by Covid-19 and ministers’ recent announcements, we strongly urge the government to urgently clarify and implement the necessary protocols to safeguard the health of public servants.
Specifically, we recommend that:
1) Workers with pre-existing chronic health conditions in the ‘non- essential services’ category be directed to work from home wherever possible.
2) For those workers for whom it is essential to work in offices, clear guidelines and protocols be immediately implemented.
With a public service of over 20,000 persons working in close proximity to each other, we fully support the government in implementing an aggressive policy on social distancing.
This is critical to insure a successful outcome against the escalation of COVID-19 infections.
This policy has to be coupled with random testing, contact-tracing and targeted containment.
It must now urgently be implemented.