Brothers and Sisters,
As we navigate our way through this difficult time, we are committed to being a steady, guiding hand in this emergency, including continuing to uncover information to share with all of you. As the situation evolves, we will adapt to continue to provide information by posting it here.
From EST James Banks...
I implore everyone to remain alert and vigilant regarding Coronavirus updates, especially as it relates to Florida. Take the advice you’ve read and heard: Wash hands often, wipe down busy surfaces, cover your sneezes and coughs, keep away from those with flu symptoms, etc. I truly believe that if we all remain diligent and implement these actions, we can curtail and even put a stop to the spread of Coronavirus in our own families. Our collective health will not only keep our families safe, but it will also enable us to remain active contributors to the local economy and provide for our families by being able to continue working. To do that, an important strategy is to stay informed. This Information Center is designed to keep all information in one spot. Check back often as we will add new information as it becomes available.
- All Local Union meetings throughout the Florida Council are cancelled until further notice. Contact your Rep w/questions: https://bit.ly/341nIlX
- A new Federal law - the CARES act - may benefit Florida carpenters. Click here to see what benefits you may have coming: https://bit.ly/2UuMisA
- U.S. members affected by COVID-19 may be entitled to benefits under new law
- Tips for coping with stress from the COVID-19 pandemic: https://bit.ly/3dwm9RG
- Have you lost your job because of Coronavirus (COVID-19)? Be sure to file for unemployment ASAP. The first step is to click here: https://bit.ly/2TZdaAD
At this time our training centers are suspending all classes until further notice. We are observing CDC and state guidelines for infection control, such as social distancing and gathering size limits. Please contact your local training center for specific policies and procedures. The FCTTF is continuously monitoring the COVID-19 situation as updates are published by the CDC and state. Necessary changes will be made to ensure our members' safety as the situation warrant. For more information about Florida Training, visit: http://www.floridacarpenters.org/
- The Florida Carpenters Regional Council is following state and federal guidelines to reduce virus transmission and expansion in the workplace.
- We will continue to provide all forms of service and support to our members.
- Offices will remain open, but we encourage you to visit the office only if necessary and to use the phone or email for routine questions. Find your contact info here: http://www.flcrc.org/Locals.xml.
- If you must visit a Council or Local office, please wash your hands and complete hand sanitization upon entry to the building.
- Representatives will continue to make job site visits.
What if I or my family members have symptoms?
- Stay home if you are sick.
- If you develop symptoms of illness during the workday, please ask to leave and then contact your Council Representative ASAP.
- If you or someone in your household has a flu-like illness that is not diagnosed, please check with your supervisor before coming to work.
- If your child’s school or child-care facility is impacted, please alert your supervisor.
- If any staff or staff family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will work with local and federal agencies to follow containment and safety procedures.
What are common symptoms of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
COVID-19, also called “Coronavirus,” is a flu-like illness. The most common symptoms are fever, fatigue, cough, and shortness of breath.
How Do I stay healthy?
Slowing the spread of this virus is the best strategy to keep our members and their families healthy. Please follow these guidelines:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after visiting the restroom, before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue.
- Clean and disinfect - frequently - touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Practice social distancing, which means avoiding large public gathering venues, adhering to spacing recommendations (6 feet apart), and following proper personal hygiene practices.
I’m freaking out. What should I do?
Anxiety, depression, worry and apprehension are all common responses during uncertain times. Please pay attention to how you are feeling and practice self-care. For helpful tips, please read this resource on How to Cope with Anxiety About Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.verywellmind.com/managing-coronavirus-anxiety-4798909
Is there any good news to focus on?
- Unlike the flu, COVID-19 has not shown to be particularly dangerous for children.
- It is likely that, if we work hard in areas of infection and follow guidelines, we could reduce the spread of the virus.
- There is optimism that increased personal hygiene (mostly handwashing) could shorten the flu season – a virus that continues to claim more lives worldwide than COVID-19.
- You are surrounded by people that care about you and your well-being.
How can I be my brother’s and sister’s keeper?
- Adopt a social responsibility mindset. Everyone is experiencing the same new information and uncertainty. By remaining calm and helpful, we can assist others in problem-solving and help keep them calm as well.
- Be optimistic. We are all in this together and together we will find a way forward.
- Remind each other that EST James Banks and his staff are here to support all members, and they are working extremely hard to get the membership the support and services that will help everyone through this pandemic.