The rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is unsettling, changing daily life and the operations of many businesses, schools and workplaces. There is a great deal of uncertainty and we would like you to know that the health and well-being of our members, staff and other stakeholders is what matters most at the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association.
Although the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low in Canada. CHHA has been monitoring the situation closely and taking action to safeguard the well-being of our team and members. As of today, our office will be closed to visitors and the team has the option to work remotely. This capability to support our members virtually has been in place since our move to our new downtown office in 2019. Other measures that will reduce the risk of our members and staff contracting or spreading the virus include:
Temporary CHHA Business Practices
- Effective immediately, it is discretionary for CHHA National staff to work from home. We have the means to work remotely and everyone is encouraged to do so.
- Effective immediately and until further notice, those returning from travel outside of Canada, should self-isolate for 14 days – even if you are feeling well – and monitor for symptoms.
- Business travel restriction is in place until March 31.
- We are asking that staff avoid meetings or events where large groups of people are present and avoid hand shaking until otherwise advised.
- As previously advertised, our Annual AGM will be hosted on-line this year so that you can participate from the comfort of your own home.
Reduce the risk of infection
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water (at least 20 seconds) or use hand sanitizer.
- Wipe down hard surfaces regularly.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands with soap.
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your elbow, not your hand.
- Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick.
- Reduce high contact activities such as handshakes.
- It is still recommended to get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community.
Working for You
During these uncertain times, we know that emergency information is critical, in many circumstances’ information has not been accessible, and we are contacting federal and provincial governments to encourage them to make sure information is accessible for people with hearing loss.
CHHA follows the guidance of public health officials at the federal, provincial and local levels. We encourage you to keep yourself informed and updated on the latest news. Below are some resources to find accurate and updated information:
It is critical to follow guidance from your local and provincial health officials at this time. We also encourage the practice of social-distancing and ask our local networks across Canada who are working with vulnerable populations to suspend any non-essential activities, including support meetings and such. And while we don’t want to create any panic, we do encourage you to make sure you have a supply of hearing aid and cochlear implant batteries for 2 – 4 weeks if necessary.
Your well-being is our concern and together we support each other to ensure we come out of this situation informed and safe. As the situation evolves, we will keep you informed.
Christopher T. Sutton
National Executive Director