Sick Notes for Respiratory Illness No Longer Required by Regional Health Authorities

  • Health and Community Services

March 10, 2020

The Department of Health and Community Services and the regional health authorities are actively working on containment measures for COVID-19. This includes ongoing discussion of human resource issues.

The department has heard the concerns from family physicians and unions about sick notes. Asking employees to get a sick note increases the potential spread of infection.

Following consultation with the regional health authorities and to address these concerns, regional health authority employees who are exhibiting respiratory illness symptoms will not be required to provide a sick note for absence periods of less than fourteen days.

This decision is effective immediately and will be reassessed periodically, as the need arises.

If you are experiencing symptoms following out-of-province travel, please call 811 to speak to a registered nurse. Symptoms have included fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

You should call ahead and speak to your health care provider if you are concerned about your symptoms, or if you have a travel history to an area where cases have been confirmed.

If you are severely ill and feel you need emergency medical attention, please call 911 and ensure you tell them about your travel history.

For online information and updates on COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, please visit the Department of Health and Community Services website.

To date, there are no cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“This interim decision is to reduce the risk to employees and their loved ones, as well as those they look after. I have full confidence in the staff of the regional health authorities. I do not expect to see an increase in sick leave arising from this change.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

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Media contact
Kathy Dicks-Peyton
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 699-1982

2020 03 10 2:20 pm