ADM Mat Protective Measures
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It is important to note that Public Health Measures (PHM) and advice are continuously evolving, thus the approach will be revisited on an ongoing basis to ensure proper compliance. Should individual requirements/responsibilities change, staff will be informed in a timely manner by their Chain of Command. In order to ensure everyone in the Defence Team are aware of the personal measures expected of them as it relates to the current COVID-19 pandemic, here is what you should know: As part of Canada’s effort to combat novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have put in place numerous precautions and implemented various measures to protect our personnel, while maintaining our readiness to assist the Government of Canada when and where requested to do so.
It is crucial to inform and train our Defence Team to ensure the safety of each other, ourselves our families, and our communities. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the two types of protective measures, and how they will be employed in the workplace.
- Personal Protective Equipment is medical- and industrial-grade equipment primarily designed to protect you from infection by pathogens like COVID-19 when performing tasks/duties that may bring you into close contact with carriers or suspected carriers of the disease and/or their belongings. It includes specially designed masks, gloves, and eye protection. Medical-grade Personal Protective Equipment also protects others who are in close proximity to the wearer from possible COVID-19 infection. When wearing Personal Protective Equipment, it’s important to still maintain Public Health Measures like physical distancing and proper hand washing.
- Examples when Personal Protective Equipment is needed would be situations where first responders and frontline medical personnel are in close contact with infected individuals and/or their belongings, or when working in a suspected contamination zone.
- Public Health Measures are behaviours, actions, such as the wearing of non-medical masks which reduce the risk of transmission and infection of viruses. These measures protect others from you in the course of your normal activities in the DND/CAF workplace and in the community.
- Examples of Public Health Measures that are expected of you include, as a minimum, maintaining physical distancing and frequent and thorough hand washing with soapy water. The wearing of a non-medical (or homemade) mask which covers both your nose and mouth, is required when proper physical distancing cannot be maintained, in order to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
- It is expected that anyone exhibiting any kind of cold or flu-like symptoms remain at home.
The best Public Health Measures, emphasized by both the Surgeon General and Public Health Agency of Canada, are physical distancing and frequent/thorough hand washing.
The following Public Health Measures must be applied by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces personnel to the greatest extent possible in all risk environments:
- If you leave home, maintain a minimum two metre distance from others as much as possible, and if not possible, wear a non-medical mask; and
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom and when preparing food (> 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an alternative).
- Stay and work at home unless it is operationally essential that you go into work or until you are directed to return under formal business resumption protocols;
- Avoid non-essential trips within your community;
- Avoid gathering in groups;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
- Limit contact with people at a higher risk of having a severe disease (e.g., older adults, those in poor health);
- Cough/sneeze into a tissue or the bend in your arm and not your hands, and stay home if you have flu-like symptoms
As this crisis evolves, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to provide updated direction and guidance to our personnel with respect to Public Health Measures and on the usage of Personal Protective Equipment.
For specific training information on the proper use of Public Health Measures and Personal Protective Equipment, please visit the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre
July 13, 2020 NMM Update
NEW OTTAWA CITY BYLAW – MANDATORY USE OF MASKS/FACE COVERINGS IN ENCLOSED PUBLIC SPACES
As the fight against COVID-19 continues and with the differing phases of restrictions across our country, various levels of government authorities (municipal/provincial/territorial) may invoke health orders specific to their public health jurisdictions. With increasing scientific evidence of the use of masks as an important measure in reducing COVID-19 transmission, Ottawa Public Health has introduced temporary bylaws requiring the use of masks/face coverings in enclosed public spaces (acceptable exemptions defined within the bylaws at the links above).
In support of localized Public Health orders, PSPC will apply these measures in publicly accessible spaces of their assets within the geographical areas for which the bylaws apply; appropriate signage will be installed to the imposed requirements. This includes DND facilities in the NCR.
While each building is unique, spaces that can be publicly accessed without the use of a security access card or escort will comply with local bylaws. Examples of public spaces include areas leading up to security points and public-facing service offerings. Once security control points have been passed, the requirement to wear a mask/face covering is not mandatory; however, the DM/CDS Joint Directive - DND/CAF COVID-19 Public Health Measures and Personal Protection applies and is to be followed by all.
In the DND workplace, the CDS/DM Directive directed:
- all personnel are required to self-assess prior to entering the workplace;
- all those same personnel have taken the COVID Awareness course on the DLN prior to reporting to the workplace;
- all DND/CAF pers to wear NMM when 2m distancing can't be maintained;
- completion of onboarding training with their supervisor on the PHM in the workplace;
- the workplace has been prepared to maximize physical distancing wherever possible including protocols like one-way hallways/stairways/doors; and cleaning protocols ensure high touch areas are cleaned more frequently.
These same safety measures cannot be assured in a public location nor with the members of the public themselves, so the mandatory wearing of masks is a strategy to reduce that risk in those locations. These measures serve to reduce the risk to our employees within the DND workplace.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Defence Team members are encouraged to refer to this page regularly for updated questions and answers regarding the Business Resumption Process (BRP) and the measures being taken around COVID-19 in the workplace.