Lambton MOH says paid sick days would help stop the spread of COVID-19

Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton's Acting Medical Officer of Health,

Lambton’s medical officer of health is joining the chorus of people calling for paid sick leave days to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Today, the province will unveil it’s latest modelling data to show what they calculate will happen as the virus spreads in Ontario. Then, the premier is expected to announce new restrictions . For the past week, Ontario has registered more than 3,000 cases per day.

CBC News is reporting the province won’t enact a curfew, like Quebec, but may return to a state of emergency which would allow the province to legally force people to stay home. The news outlet also says cabinet is considering shorter work days and closing offices which are not deemed essential. Right now, they’re only encouraged to work at home.

Dr. Sudit Ranade says finding ways to stop people from going to work is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Both in Lambton and across Ontario, the virus has been spreading quickly in workplaces. It’s widely accepted people with symptoms continue to work, because they won’t get paid if they stay home.

“Everything you can possibly do to enable situations where people who have symptoms do not go to work; that is a very critical measure to prevent the spread of this disease because we find many, many people who either don’t have the choice to not work when they’re not symptomatic or have situations where based on either their organization or their sector of work, they feel that they cannot miss work when they have symptoms,” says Ranade.

“It is so critical to have every enabling support for people to do that as possible.”

Ranade joins dozens of organizations including the NDP, other public health officers and unions calling for the province to implement a policy of 10 paid sick days.

Ranade adds we need to find ways to encourage people to stay distanced from each other.

“We know that I think one of the manifestations of what’s happening right now is that people are tired, but we haven’t figured out a way to help them encounter each other socially in a way that’s safer. And so they do it in ways that are familiar, which are risks.”