New research project to improve understanding of COVID-19 immunity: New funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research will help Dr. Steven Drews, associate director of microbiology, answer questions about immunity for people who have recovered from COVID-19. “Because the virus that causes COVID-19 is new, there are many unanswered questions about immunity among people who survive it,” he says. “We see that there’s some level of immunity happening, but we don’t know what antibody levels provide immunity, or how long that immunity lasts. Those are some of the questions my team will be exploring.” Dr. Drews’ team will study 1,500 leftover blood samples from Canadian Blood Services donors each month for a year. They will analyze the concentration of antibodies in the blood samples, and test how effective they are at neutralizing the coronavirus. Doing this testing over the course of a year will help provide a fuller picture of how immunity evolves over time. Read more at blood.ca.
Live virtual fitness classes start this week: We understand how challenging it is to remain active right now. With gyms and fitness studio’s closed, we’ve all had to rethink how we stay healthy — both mentally and physically. To help, we’ve teamed up with our partners at Goodlife Fitness to bring you live virtual fitness classes three times a week. Whether you have already signed-up or have been meaning to register, here is your friendly reminder that classes start this week! Goodlife instructors will be offering weekly Zumba classes (Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. ET); boot camp (Wednesdays, 11 a.m. ET); and yoga (Thursdays, 12:00 p.m. ET). Visit your employee wellness portal to register. Once you do, you will receive a calendar invite with all the information you need (including the meeting link) to participate. See you on the mat!
Going digital — requesting payouts just got easier: Our human resources team is continuing to make it easier for unionized employees to complete HR requests without the hassle of paperwork. Employees will now be able to request payouts through a digital form on EDA. You can request hours to be paid out from your banked overtime, banked stat holiday or other banks according to your collective agreement eligibility directly through the platform. Once your form is filled out online and submitted, your manager or supervisor will receive a copy for approval. This means no more paperwork and quicker turnaround time to process. If you have questions, remember that you can click on the “HR Helps” button on the apps section of Connect to speak directly to a representative.
Question of the day: I won’t likely be going back into the office until phase two of our return to office plan. Can I go in and get my monitor and other items from my desk?
We ask that only employees who have an operational imperative or an essential task that impacts our products and services for patients enter our facilities.
However, if you think you need to enter a Canadian Blood Services facility to retrieve something from our workspace essential to your work, please discuss your situation first with your supervisor. In that discussion, please consider the risk of not completing the task you need to do or delaying it for a few weeks vs. the risk you may create for other essential staff and our operations by going into a facility.
If you will be entering a site to gather essential items, such as files, monitor, keyboard or mouse, please promptly exit the building afterwards. Furnishings including chairs, desks and table tops are not to be removed.
Please ensure that you aware of all the COVID-19 measures in place. In addition to completing a questionnaire at the active wellness checkpoint, please ensure that you are feeling well and that you follow proper hand hygiene. If you cannot maintain a two-metre distance to complete your work, it is mandatory that you wear a mask (available upon entry). Where possible, you must respect all physical distancing requirements, especially in common areas.
About the daily digest
This daily digest will highlight the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content like articles and videos to remind us that what we do matters. Things are moving quickly, so you can expect to hear from us daily. No access to email? No problem — all this information and more can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
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Have questions? Check out blood.ca/employees or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.