To: All Conuma Coal Resources (CCR) Employees Re: COVID-Update #1
The most important tool you and CCR have in overcoming the obstacles from the Covid-19 pandemic is COMMUNICATION. CCR will continue to provide updates on policies, changes in work rules, and news that may affect all of us at CCR. PLEASE do your part and communicate back with Human Resources any questions or observations you may have. And remember, there is a different sort of infection spreading at the same time: health misinformation. CCR will strive to provide factual, reliable information and sources where you can learn more. Self-help remedies passing on social media, reports that the pandemic is not serious, etc., are not helpful to our shared goal to keep as many of us healthy as possible. If you have a question about what to do, please ask. Meanwhile, we will work to bolster support systems that will allow people to feel as informed, connected, and prepared as we can be.
Managing through the COVID-19 pandemic is uncharted territory, but health officials and agencies across the globe are learning more about the virus and how to fight it every day. CCR remains committed to the health and well being of our employees, our families, and communities. We are pleased to see the level of cooperation from all our employees with their openness to communicate their symptoms, to ask questions, and follow the self-isolation and when not to report to work protocols. It is through the efforts of all of us that we will be able to limit the spread of this virus and protect those who are most vulnerable. Government agencies are projecting that COVID-19 will not reach its peak for at least the next 4 to 5 weeks, so we must continue to remain vigilant and look out for each other as we always have.
On a positive note, CCR currently has no presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 of which we are aware. We have had 48 cases of self-isolation to date, 10 of those have successfully returned to work, leaving 38 employees in self-isolation out of an abundance of caution (most of which are as a result of recent travel).
A second bit of good news is that CCR’s coal is moving. After several challenging months of getting adequate rail service, CCR railed more coal in the first 15 days of March than it has in any other 2-week period in Company history. That doesn’t happen without tremendous teamwork and dedication.
We continue to monitor communications from government health authorities for changes or updates to precautionary best practices. Our Occupational Doctor has also been a source of best practices gained through her engagement with other companies with multiple site operations. One of the important areas that has been developing is additional guidance in the area of self-isolation. The public health agency of Canada has broken down what isolation, self-isolation and self-monitoring means. Please see the PDF document titled “Know the Difference: Self-Monitoring, Self-Isolation, and Isolation for Covid-19” attached to this communication for details on this additional guidance. To be clear, if you are or must self-isolate, you are expected to stay home for the specified duration, and limit contact with other people. Here are some of the additional steps that Conuma has taken to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus;
• We have worked with our busing providers to increase the cleaning and sanitizing of buses between each run. • We will adopt busing protocols requiring riders to confirm they are not experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 BEFORE boarding the bus to site. Bus drivers have the authority to refuse access to employees displaying flu-like symptoms. • Employees have been prohibited from reporting to work if they are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms. • We are complying with the recommendation from the Chief Inspector of Mines to limit gatherings to 50 people or less including pre-shift and partnership meetings. • We will also implement, where possible, work rules designed to limit density of people in any location, e.g., helping maintain the recommended “social distance” between people. This may mean adopting work rules that lower this density in work areas that are typically more crowded, or indoors where the ability to maintain social distance is more difficult.
Conuma is committed to providing prompt updates to our employees and we will continue to do so as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. As with any type of pandemic, it is critical that information is obtained from legitimate and appropriate sources.