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General Recommendations for All CWA Members

  • Members experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (which include fever, cough and shortness of breath) should stay home and recover. If you have come down with symptoms or test positive notify your Local union and your employer immediately.

    For more information:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
  • Members deemed at high-risk by their doctor as outlined under CDC guidelines should avoid working outside the home when possible. This includes older adults and those with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems. Members who believe they may be at increased risk of serious complications of COVID-19 should contact their local union and employer to request accommodations.

    For more information:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-comp...
  • Members should practice good respiratory hygiene.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Put your used tissue in a waste basket.
    • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

    For more information:
    https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html

  • Members should practice good hand hygiene.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Avoid shaking hands.

    For more information:
    https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

  • Members should practice appropriate physical/social distancing with co-workers and customers, maintaining distances of 6 feet to avoid transmission.

For CWA Members Doing Work on Customer Premises

  • Employers should establish procedures to screen customers before dispatch. Customers who may report COVID-19 symptoms, can be rescheduled.
  • If work is required inside the home, confirm at the door that no members of the household are ill or in quarantine. Attempt to troubleshoot the problem over the phone before you arrive to minimize your time in the home.
  • If upon arrival you realize that someone inside the home is ill or in quarantine, or you have other reasons to believe the conditions are unsafe (e.g. a large number of people in the home) exit the premise and call your supervisor to report. Follow your Company protocols for work that may be completed outside the premise.
  • While inside the home, maintain an appropriate social distance (six feet) with customers to reduce the risk of transmission.  Do your best to avoid unnecessary touching of surfaces within the home – coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to 72 hours or more. 
  • Under normal circumstances, you shouldn’t need to change clothes between visits to homes. Keep a change of clean clothes in your vehicle in case there is some incident that occurs during a visit, such as a customer becoming ill or coughing on you. All incidents should be reported to your supervisor.
  • If you feel working within the customer’s home would make you unsafe, voice your concerns to your supervisor and ask for alternative work. Unsafe working conditions should be documented and your conversation with your supervisor should be documented as well. Contact your shop steward or local union if the safety issue has not been resolved.
  • Safety equipment should be provided by your employer to reduce transmission risk during customer visits.
    • Hand sanitizer should be used frequently before and during your visit.
    • Safety eyewear can be used to discourage eye touching. Safety eyewear worn in a home should be sanitized after leaving.
    • Disposable gloves can be used when practical to ensure hand hygiene:
      https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/poster-how-to-remove-gloves.pdf
  • If performing work in a medical facility (hospital, nursing home, MD office, clinic), your employer should screen for information about the location and repair site to avoid or minimize technician contact with multiple personnel or work in high hazard areas. Employer protocols should include criteria for safe work operations, rescheduling of work, and technician protections.