TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2020—Ontario’s doctors are calling for paid sick days for all Ontarians so that people who have or suspect they may have COVID 19 can stay home, get well and not infect others.
Many workers who do not have any paid sick day are going to work as truck drivers, personal support workers, food production workers and other jobs, endangering not only their own health, but spreading COVID-19 to others.
“Workers without paid sick leave often feel forced to work when unwell so they can feed and support their families,” said Dr. Samantha Hill, president of the Ontario Medical Association. “Worse, many are also at risk of losing their jobs if they stay home. Going to work sick contributes to the record number of COVID cases we are seeing, especially in some of our hotspots. At a time when we are all working as hard as we can to reduce spread, and protect our most vulnerable, it’s unfathomable to ask to put workers in that position. Beyond being the right thing to do for the individual, paid sick days are essential for Ontario’s recovery and well-being.”
Ontario’s doctors, working on the front lines of the pandemic, see the impact this highly contagious disease has on people every day.
Doctors – as well as the Ontario Hospital Association and the professional associations representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and respiratory therapists urge every Ontarian to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19, which continues to reach record levels as the holiday season arrives.
“Making Ontario’s economy healthy again is an important priority for all us of,” said OMA CEO Allan O’Dette. “We first need to make sure workers are healthy.”
Here are the top five things doctors recommend you can do to protect yourselves and others:
- wash your hands often
- wear a mask or face-covering at all times, unless you are at home with housemates or outdoors at a guaranteed two metres distance from others
- stay away from crowded places
- celebrate or gather only with members of your household. Don’t invite others into your home
- prepare for contact tracing if you get COVID-19. Download the COVID Alert app and/or keep track of where you go and when
About the OMA
The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000-plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system.
For more information, please contact:
Aleks Dhefto, OMA Media Relations