Southeastern Carpenters

News

News

Coronavirus Information Center

WHAT'S NEW?

FACTS ABOUT MASKS: OSHA generally recommends that employers encourage workers to wear medical masks or cloth face coverings at work to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. OSHA recently issued frequently asked questions (FAQ) guidance to address inaccurate claims that these masks and face coverings cause unsafe oxygen or harmful carbon dioxide levels for the wearer. Get the facts here.

ONLINE TRAINING: Members are urged to take the online ICRA and COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification courses: https://bit.ly/3epFT9Y

ASK THE COUNCIL: Have a question about COVID-19 and how it affects your work? We want to hear from you. We now operate a virtual "Ask-the-Council" program where you can get answers to your questions by a SECRC staff member. Please text the word QUESTION to 1-877-747-3272 (877-74-SECRC) to get started.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS EXTENDED: Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, multiple state are extending unemployment benefits. See details for each state, here: https://money.com/coronavirus-state-unemployment-benefit-extension/?xid=applenew  

RE-OPENINGS...OR NOT: Due to rising COVID-19 case counts, several states in our region are pausing or reversing plans to re-open. Click here for details about your state's status and restrictions. Be aware city and county orders are affecting many areas as well. Check with your local governments to find out if additional rules apply. Check it out: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/states-reopen-map-coronavirus.html.  

FACE MASK MAINTENANCE: Face masks are a part of everyone’s life right now, including construction job sites. If you wear a reusable cloth face covering, it’s important to keep it clean. Per OSHA, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance on washing face coverings: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wash-cloth-face-coverings.html. OSHA also suggests following those recommendations, and always washing or discarding cloth face coverings that are visibly soiled. Read more tips and information about cloth face coverings, here: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/covid-19-faq.html#cloth-face-coverings and here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

HOW TO STAY HEALTHY ON THE JOB: As more of our members get back on the job, we know safety measures like keeping 6 feet apart are challenging. But it is important to practice social distancing and protect yourself in other ways like:

  • Wearing personal protective equipment like gloves and face coverings
  • Sanitizing your tools, phone, and anything else you touch frequently
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If you don't have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoiding touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Eating your lunch by yourself
  • Avoiding crowded break areas
  • Not carpooling
  • Taking stairs when possible
  • Limiting interactions by working with the same group of people whenever possible

SUICIDE PREVENTION: Help is just a phone call or text away. Don't wait. Your life is worth it: https://bit.ly/2W3rLMo

TWIC CARD: Expiration dates are extended by six months: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the expiration date of Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) is being extended by six months. This applies to cards expiring between March 1 and July 31, 2020. Get details here: https://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/esvp_twic_exemption-faqs-notice_4_14_20.pdf

TRACK COVID-19 in your own county: The Harvard Global Health Institute released a new tool that allows you to see a COVID-19 risk rating of green, yellow, orange, or red for the county where you live. Check it out: https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/.

CAR INSURANCE: You may be eligible for a refund on your car insurance premium. What you need to know: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2020/04/16/coronavirus-relief-how-get-your-car-insurance-refunds/2990448001/ 

SCAM ALERT:  Federal Trade Commission offers tips to avoid COVID-19 scams: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

Track COVID-19 in your own county: The Harvard Global Health Institute released a new tool that allows you to see a COVID-19 risk rating of green, yellow, orange, or red for the county where you live. Check it out: https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/.



    UNEMPLOYMENT RESOURCES

      • Check out the graphic on the right to see how the coronavirus relief bill impacts access to unemployment insurance

      State-by-state help...

      Alabama

      General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program: http://www.labor.alabama.gov/uc/

      To file a UI claim online: https://labor.alabama.gov/uc/ICCS/

      To file a claim by telephone number: https://labor.alabama.gov/uc/phone.aspx


      Georgia

      General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program: https://dol.georgia.gov/unemployment-benefits

      To file a UI claim online: https://www.dol.state.ga.us/WS4-MW5/cics.jsp?TRANSID=UCI1&FRMNAME=UCI1S

      To file a claim by telephone number: 404-232-3180


      North Carolina

      General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program: https://des.nc.gov/apply-unemployment

      To file a UI claim online: https://fed.des.nc.gov/ofis/citizen/pages/public/Login.aspx

      To file a claim by telephone number: 1-888-737-0259


      South Carolina

      General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program: https://dew.sc.gov/individuals/apply-for-benefits/claims-process

      To file a UI claim online: https://dew.sc.gov/individuals/apply-for-benefits/claims-process

      To file a claim by telephone number: To File an Out of State claim by phone, residents should call the Interstate Unit at 1-800-529-8339.

      To check the status or get information on your claim: https://dew.sc.gov/individuals/manage-your-benefits/payment-status


      Tennessee

      General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program: https://www.tn.gov/workforce/unemployment.html

      To file a UI claim online: https://www.tn.gov/workforce/unemployment.html

      To file a claim by telephone number: Telephone Support for Unemployment Insurance Filing: 844-224-5818

      Tennessee also has an emergency cash assistance program. Click here to learn more.



      FEDERAL ACTIONS


      INDUSTRY TALK


       

      BROTHER'S KEEPER

      How can I be my brother’s and sister’s keeper?
      • Adopt a social responsibility mindset. Everyone is experiencing the same new information and uncertainty. By remaining calm and helpful, we can assist others in problem-solving and help keep them calm as well.
      • Remind each other that your Union is working extremely hard to get the membership the support and services that will help everyone through this pandemic.
      • Volunteer. Here are some suggested state-by-state organizations to consider:

      SECRC INFORMATION
      • COVID-19 testing for you and your family is not only encouraged, but it is now covered! Details of this benefit are contained in a letter sent to all members from the Mid-South Health & Welfare Fund: http://www.southeasterncarpenters.org/pdf/MSC-31320.pdf and from the Southeastern Carpenters Health & Welfare Fund: http://www.southeasterncarpenters.org/pdf/SEC-320.pdf
      • Council Representative Contact: http://southeasterncarpenters.org/Locals.xml
      • The SECRC is following state and federal guidelines to reduce virus transmission and expansion in the workplace.
      • We will continue to provide all forms of service and support to our members.
      • Offices will remain open, but we encourage you to visit the office only if necessary and to use the phone or email for routine questions. Find your contact info here: http://southeasterncarpenters.org/Locals.xml
      • If you must visit a Council or Local office, please wash your hands and complete hand sanitization upon entry to the building.
      • Representatives will continue to make job site visits.

      Training Center Information...
      • The Carpenters International Training Fund (CITF) will be EXTENDING the qualification and certification credentials 90 days past expiration dates. In a memo to UBC officials, CITF Executive Director Bill Irwin wrote:  "We are aware that social distancing has led to a temporary suspension of training sessions here at the ITC as well as local areas, which prevents updating the qualifications and certifications needed to be on the jobsite. To counteract the effects of this, the CITF will be extending the qualification and certification credentials run through the CITF for up to 90 days for those that are set to expire during the hopefully short duration of closures. NOTE: Kirby Morgan Hat Technician is not controlled by the CITF and cannot be extended. For questions, please contact Royce Peters at 702-938-1111, ext. 2028."
      • Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council TTF (Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee), and Southeastern Carpenters TTF (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina) – Our training centers are suspending classes until further notice. We are observing CDC and state infection-control guidelines such as social distancing and gathering-size limits. The Training Trust Funds covering these states are continuously monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will make necessary changes to ensure members’ safety. Critical path training, which WILL continue for certifications such as NANTeL. Contact your training center for more information: Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust Fund (sectt.net) or Mid-South Carpenters Training Trust Fund (http://www.mscrcttf.org/)
      • International Training Center Closure Information: http://southeasterncarpenters.org/Module/News/NewsDetail/ITC_Closure_Information?id=200


      MORE RESOURCES


      Health Organizations…


      Local Health Departments...


      Lifestyle Resources...

      • Tips for coping with stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://bit.ly/2wCUttu
      • 10 Common myths about COVID-19: https://www.infectiousdiseaseadvisor.com/home/topics/prevention/10-myths-about-covid-19/
      • How to Keep Your Kids Busy While at Home: Here’s a good list of free activities for kids while at home because of school closures: https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/135609/list-of-education-companies-offering-free-subscriptions/
      • How to effectively use hand sanitizer - Never substitute washing your hands for hand sanitizer, as hand washing is more effective than hand sanitizer. But this doesn’t mean hand sanitizer isn’t useful. There are plenty of times when a sink and soap aren’t available, which makes hand sanitizer the next best option. It’s important to know how to use it effectively. Rather than squirting it in your hand and quickly rubbing your hands together, you need to take time to properly use hand sanitizer. To effectively use hand sanitizer: Make sure all dirt and grime are removed first; Apply a dab of hand sanitizer to the palm of your hand, about the size of a dime; Rub all areas of both hands for at least 30 seconds, or until the hand sanitizer is dry, so your skin can effectively absorb all of the hand sanitizer. This includes rubbing your palms, fingers, nails, and the backs of your hands; Wait for your hands to dry before touching anything else.


      COMMON FAQ’s


      What if I or my family members have symptoms?

      • Stay home if you are sick.
      • If you develop symptoms of illness during the workday, please ask to leave and then contact your Council Representative ASAP.
      • If you or someone in your household has a flu-like illness that is not diagnosed, please check with your supervisor before coming to work.
      • If your child’s school or child-care facility is impacted, please alert your supervisor.
      • If any staff or staff family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will work with local and federal agencies to follow containment and safety procedures.


      What are common symptoms of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

      COVID-19, also called “Coronavirus,” is a flu-like illness. The most common symptoms are fever, fatigue, cough, and shortness of breath.


      How Do I stay healthy?

      Slowing the spread of this virus is the best strategy to keep our members and their families healthy. Please follow these guidelines:

      • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after visiting the restroom, before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
      • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
      • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue.
      • Clean and disinfect - frequently - touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
      • Practice social distancing, which means avoiding large public gathering venues, adhering to spacing recommendations (6 feet apart), and following proper personal hygiene practices. 


      I’m freaking out. What should I do?

      Anxiety, depression, worry and apprehension are all common responses during uncertain times. Please pay attention to how you are feeling and practice self-care. For helpful tips, please read this resource on How to Cope with Anxiety About Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.verywellmind.com/managing-coronavirus-anxiety-4798909


      Is there any good news to focus on?

      • Unlike the flu, COVID-19 has not shown to be particularly dangerous for children.
      • It is likely that, if we work hard in areas of infection and follow guidelines, we could reduce the spread of the virus.
      • There is optimism that increased personal hygiene (mostly handwashing) could shorten the flu season – a virus that continues to claim more lives worldwide than COVID-19.
      • You are surrounded by people that care about you and your well-being.