Welcome to the Florida Carpenters Regional Council



Coronavirus Information Center

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. Also stay informed via the Florida Department of Health and the UBC COVID-19 Information Center. - Yours in Solidarity, EST James Banks 


All members are encouraged to go to special.usps.com/testkits (page shown here) and complete the simple form. One set of four kits are available for free to residential households in the U.S. They will be delivered via the U.S. Postal System. Here’s what you need to know about your order:

  • Limit of one order per residential address
  • One order includes 4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
  • Orders will ship free starting in late January

Go to special.usps.com/testkits to place your order.

You can now have proof of your COVID-19 vaccination listed right on your TVC card. Click here for details.

Here's a tool to help you get your vaccine appointment scheduled: https://www.vaccinespotter.org/FL/

We encourage all members to get fully vaccinated.

Knowledge is key when considering the COVID-19 vaccination program. Stay informed and read these myths, facts, and answers to frequently asked questions about the vaccine, by clicking https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html. While the COVID-19 vaccination program is a federal initiative, each state determines who is eligible to receive the vaccine and when. Criteria include age, health conditions, and work environment. To check whether you or your family members are eligible, click here: http://www.floridahealth.gov/.



  • Florida Carpenters are now part of the Florida Economic Rebound Task Force: https://bit.ly/2V9AiNy
  • Health & Welfare Funds: Southern Benefit Administrators, Inc., 2001 Caldwell Drive, Goodlettsville, TN 37072, 615-645-3847
  • Council Representative Contact: http://www.flcrc.org/Locals.xml
  • Florida Carpenters Training Trust Fund: http://www.floridacarpenters.org/
  • 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.



Q. Does wearing a medical/surgical mask or cloth face covering cause unsafe oxygen levels or harmful carbon dioxide levels to the wearer?

A. No. Medical masks, including surgical masks, are routinely worn by healthcare workers throughout the day as part of their personal protective equipment ensembles and do not compromise their oxygen levels or cause carbon dioxide buildup. They are designed to be breathed through and can protect against respiratory droplets, which are typically much larger than tiny carbon dioxide particles. Consequently, most carbon dioxide particles will either go through the mask or escape along the mask's loose-fitting perimeter. Some carbon dioxide might collect between the mask and the wearer's face, but not at unsafe levels. Like medical masks, cloth face coverings are loose-fitting with no seal and are designed to be breathed through. Workers may easily remove their medical masks or cloth face coverings periodically (and when not in close proximity with others) to eliminate any negligible buildup of carbon dioxide that might occur. Cloth face coverings and medical masks can help prevent the spread of potentially infectious respiratory droplets from the wearer to their co-workers, including when the wearer has COVID-19 and does not know it.


Facts about masks: OSHA generally recommends that employers encourage workers to wear medical masks or cloth face coverings at work to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. OSHA recently issued frequently asked questions (FAQ) guidance to address inaccurate claims that these masks and face coverings cause unsafe oxygen or harmful carbon dioxide levels for the wearer. Get the facts here.


Face mask maintenance: Face masks are a part of everyone’s life right now, including construction job sites. If you wear a reusable cloth face covering, it’s important to keep it clean. Per OSHA, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance on washing face coverings: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wash-cloth-face-coverings.html. OSHA also suggests following those recommendations, and always washing or discarding cloth face coverings that are visibly soiled. Read more tips and information about cloth face coverings here: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/covid-19-faq.html#cloth-face-coverings and here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html. OSHA released a new video and poster (shown on the right) that shows how to properly wear and remove a respirator. The video and poster are also available in Spanish.


How to stay healthy on the job: As more of our members get back on the job, we know safety measures like keeping 6 feet apart are challenging. But it is important to practice social distancing and protect yourself in other ways like:

  • Wearing personal protective equipment like gloves and face coverings
  • Sanitizing your tools, phone, and anything else you touch frequently
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If you don't have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoiding touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Eating your lunch by yourself
  • Avoiding crowded break areas
  • Not carpooling
  • Taking stairs when possible
  • Limiting interactions by working with the same group of people whenever possible 


Eligible UBC members can now use the UBC International Training Fund's Learning Management System to take two online courses:  ICRA: Best Practices in Health-Care Construction and COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification. UBC members who are trained in ICRA provide much needed expertise in this crisis to ensure that proper protocol is followed and proper containment measures are being taken. In the COVID-19 course, members learn how to protect themselves, their fellow workers, and stop the spread of COVID-19. Upon completion of either course and test, a member’s Training Verification Card (TVC) will list that training. Check out the information and registration details for these courses, here: https://www.carpenters.org/resource-hub/for-our-members. You'll need a computer or tablet to take the course. Contact your Local Union's Council Representative and he or she will help you get started. Find your Representative by clicking here: http://www.flcrc.org/Locals.xml. Registration Tips:


Suicide Prevention: Help is just a phone call or text away. Don't wait. Your life is worth it: http://www.flcrc.org/Module/News/NewsDetail/Suicide_Prevention:_Help_is_one_call_or_text_away?id=127


Track COVID-19 in your own county: The Harvard Global Health Institute released a new tool that allows you to see a COVID-19 risk rating of green, yellow, orange, or red for the county where you live. Check it out: https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/

Scam Alert: Federal Trade Commission offers tips to avoid COVID-19 scams: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing






    • 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.
    • Remind each other that your Union is working extremely hard to get the membership the support and services that will help everyone through this pandemic.
    • Volunteer. Check out this link to get some ideas on where to start: Volunteer Florida



    Health Organizations…


    10 Common myths about COVID-19: https://www.infectiousdiseaseadvisor.com/home/topics/prevention/10-myths-about-covid-19/


    How to Keep Your Kids Busy While at Home: Here’s a good list of free activities for kids while at home because of school closures: https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/135609/list-of-education-companies-offering-free-subscriptions/


    How to effectively use hand sanitizer: Never substitute washing your hands for hand sanitizer, as hand washing is more effective than hand sanitizer. But this doesn’t mean hand sanitizer isn’t useful. There are plenty of times when a sink and soap aren’t available, which makes hand sanitizer the next best option. It’s important to know how to use it effectively. Rather than squirting it in your hand and quickly rubbing your hands together, you need to take time to properly use hand sanitizer. To effectively use hand sanitizer: Make sure all dirt and grime are removed first; Apply a dab of hand sanitizer to the palm of your hand, about the size of a dime; Rub all areas of both hands for at least 30 seconds, or until the hand sanitizer is dry, so your skin can effectively absorb all of the hand sanitizer. This includes rubbing your palms, fingers, nails, and the backs of your hands; Wait for your hands to dry before touching anything else.


    Common FAQs...

    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?

    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.