Friday March 6 2020


As of March 5, 2020, 45 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Canada. In addition, the Government of Quebec reported their third case of COVID-19 and the Government of Alberta reported their first case of COVID-19. The provinces have sent their presumptive positive samples to the National Microbiology Laboratory for further testing.[1].

Risk for travellers

The risk to Canadian travellers may vary depending on their destination. We invite you to consult the PHAC website (below) to find out how COVID-19 is spreading in different countries.

Disinfected Chinese Mail

Since January 23, 2020, China’s postal service has taken the initiative to disinfect the country’s outgoing mail with a diluted bleach-based solution called 84 Disinfectant*. This solution dries out during transport. When bags containing Chinese mail are opened, an odour resembling diluted chlorine can be noticed. The Union has ensured that the Corporation adequately informs members and responds to their various concerns.

Recently, some members have expressed concern about the product used. The right to refuse was invoked, and the Minister’s delegate responsible for the investigation ruled that there was no danger.

Despite the low risk still in effect, we ask members to be vigilant and follow the recommendations issued by the various health organizations, as well as the preventive measures communicated to you.

Here are the most effective measures to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth without first washing your hands; and
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.

Workers who are worried about handling packages or mail from China can obtain nitrile gloves and, if necessary, wear a disposable N-95 mask.

If you have questions regarding COVID-19, Health Canada information phone line is still available: 1-833-784-4397.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact your Local Joint Health and Safety Committee representative or your local union representative.

[1]   Source:

*  See Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) attached.

In Solidarity,

Marc Roussel
National Union Representative – Health and Safety