COVID-19 Update: March 12, 2020

First off, we want to thank all our members for your hard work. We know that you are showing up to deliver compassionate care for your patients during this difficult time.

We are all concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak. We want to assure you that we’re in constant conversation with our employers and the state, including California Governor Newsom’s administration, the California Hospital Association, Kaiser Permanente’s national leadership, and our community hospitals.

UNAC/UHCP leadership is staying in close contact with our staff reps from every affiliate about what’s happening in all our workplaces. We are hearing from our members about shortages of masks and basic supplies like soap, hand sanitizer and toilet paper, as well as insufficient isolation carts and cautious safeguarding of some equipment. We are attempting to validate these reports and have open conversations on these issues with employers.

If you have any questions or concerns about lack of training, insufficient supplies, or improper screening, contact your employer and local UNAC/UHCP officers, who will report to our staff reps and coordinate with the state office.

We have been in conversation with Kaiser Permanente around canceled education programs and necessary education to maintain licensure. More information to follow. We will collaborate with non-Kaiser employers as well around the same concern.

In the KP system, NEO classes will continue to go forward but in very small class sizes of twenty or less.

We are also going to work with our state professional licensing boards around necessary extensions. The American Heart Association is reviewing BCLS and ACLS protocols and training programs that will put caregivers at less risk.

With a pandemic, we need to prioritize and keep everyone working, where appropriate, while ensuring safe practices.

We’re asking that all our employers round on the floors and have daily huddles and townhall meetings with their staff around policies, protocols and updates from the CDC and WHO, in order to keep our patients and caregivers safe.

We continue to post information on our website and social media. Please follow us there.

There’s an enormous amount of fear in the public. As health care professionals and caregivers, it’s important that we remain calm and professional. We’re here to provide care, strength, comfort and guidance to our patients and community. For many, we are the first and last resort. They trust us, let’s be there for them. We need to be healthy ourselves to be there for our patients.

It’s important that we care for ourselves and stick to our infection control training.

  • Continue to wash your hands frequently for twenty second periods of time.
  • Stay home if you’re sick or have mild symptoms. Practice self-quarantine.
  • Contact your management or unit supervision if you are sick or have mild symptoms.
  • The best evidence to date is that COVID-19 spreads by droplet and cluster, not airborne, transmission.
  • Help to foster an atmosphere of calm inside and outside the workplace. We are a trusted voice in the community.
  • Help our patients to feel safe and confident.
  • Patients should be assigned to the appropriate caregivers. If you are immuno-suppressed, pregnant or have some illness that predisposes you to greater risk, please notify your provider and supervisor.
  • The outbreak will get worse before it gets better. For the next two weeks or so it’s likely to be particularly hard. We’ll get through this together. When health care professionals stand together, we and our patients are safer.
  • It’s especially important to be aware of and guard against prejudice in our workplaces and communities. Be self-aware. Ethnic minorities and people born in other countries might be subject to special suspicion in the public and in hospital waiting rooms. Many of our members have already been subject to these kinds of prejudices. There’s no room for this prejudice in health care or the workplace. We’re all in this together and we’ll get through this together.
  • The CDC guidelines change daily. It’s wise to check the CDC site frequently for the latest information. For Kaiser folks, go to and click on covid-19. Follow the science.

We’ll continue to send out updates to all members as needed.

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