Dear Members,

As COVID-19 continues to evolve, I want to share RNU’s efforts to protect and support you.

We met with officials from the Provincial Government and Regional Health Authorities yesterday and continue to work actively to respond to the needs of our members.

One of the top issues right now is personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes the downgrading of N95 respirator use during nasopharyngeal swabbing for suspected COVID-19 cases. Please read my letter to the Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald. 

Our position regarding PPE remains the same. With conflicting scientific evidence of how COVID-19 is transmitted, we believe the precautionary principle must be followed. All registered nurses and frontline health care workers caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients must be protected using a fit-tested N-95 respirator.

We know there are conflicting opinions on PPE. We encourage you to review our position statement and make informed decisions on PPE. Please know you have the right to refuse unsafe work. There are certain obligations you must meet to exercise this right, which can be reviewed here.

RNU is also raising concern about child care. As registered nurses face this pandemic, you will need to support and care for your children.  We’re calling for government to implement emergency child care measures for health care workers. We’ll keep you updated on this issue.

Yesterday we issued a joint statement with health care unions calling for the protection of health care workers. The statement also calls for meaningful discussions and collaboration with government and employers as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.

I encourage you to keep up to date and find all the latest from RNU about COVID-19 using our myRNU app. To download our app please use one of these links: iPhone    Android.  If you need us, please reach out by phone, email, or using myRNU.

Thank you for your continued commitment to caring.  In times like these Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are truly counting on registered nurses, and I know you are up to the challenge.

Please stay safe and informed.

Debbie Forward, RN