Tagged: Essential Workers
- by Susan Green
A federal COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel issued a report yesterday with proposals that could pave a path toward reopening the Canada-US border while balancing public health.
The report, entitled “Priority Strategies to Optimize Testing and Quarantine at Canada’s border”, contained several proposed measures for future land and air border ports in the future, including sustained use of the ArriveCAN app as well as vaccine “certifications.”
In November 2020, the federal Minister of Health created the panel to provide evidence and science-informed advice to the federal government related to existing and innovative approaches to testing and screening in Canada.
The expert panel also recommended the following measures to help support and meet these objectives:
- Border measures must be simple, easy to understand, equitable and consider both benefits and harms;
- Recommending the Government of Canada continue to use the ArriveCAN app to manage traveller information reporting;
- The panel acknowledged considerations regarding vaccine “certification,” and recommending a system to validate proof of vaccination for arriving travellers should be made available as soon as possible;
- The panel recommends the federal government continue screening positive cases among international travellers for variants of concern;
- Land and air border measures should remain as consistent as possible;
- The requirement for all air travellers to quarantine in government-authorized accommodations be discontinued;
- The panel recommends phased implementation of new border measures and consideration for the implementation process, including enforcement, which could take additional time to implement for certain measures.
A delegation of Canadian Trucking Alliance carrier members from each region met with the panel in March to provide the industry’s perspective on managing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 throughout the supply chain, with specific emphasis on cross-border operations.
The objectives stated in the report very much align with CTA’s recommended approach on cross-border measures, which are designed to control the spread of COVID-19; protect public health; secure the supply chain and its services by ensuring that travel restrictions are not excessive; and if required, utilize voluntary testing away from the border to monitor the constantly evolving COVID situation.
Voluntary COVID-19 testing was the recommended approach for exempt travellers arriving at the border by air and land. The report states:
“Voluntary testing on arrival for exempt travellers with lab-based PCR or rapid test: (i) Take-home sampling kit and/or scale up pharmacy capacity (ii) Self-monitoring for symptoms and no quarantine required unless the test is positive. Note: The voluntary arrival testing program should provide useful information on further potential recommendations for this group.”
The report also highlighted what was essentially a zero positivity rate among truck drivers from three voluntary testing programs at multiple locations across Canada last year.
“The Canadian Trucking Alliance would like to once again thank the Expert Panel Co- Chairs Sue Paish and Dr. Irfan Dhalla for meeting with CTA and listening and considering our industry’s concerns and applying our reasoning behind our recommendations,” said CTA director of Policy, Lak Shoan.
“CTA will continue to work collaboratively with Government of Canada to ensure that our industry continues to manage health and safety to the highest degree; trains and prepares its members on the mandatory ArriveCAN requirement, while helping to certify our supply chain remains secure and continues to function at the level required to fuel the Canadian economy.”
Manitoba Reaches COVID-19 Immunization Milestone with 1,000 MB Truck Drivers Vaccinated in North Dakota
- by Susan Green
Manitoba has reached a new COVID-19 immunization milestone with more than 1,000 truck drivers vaccinated in North Dakota as part of the Essential Worker Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative, Economic Development and Jobs Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
“Our government is grateful for this partnership with North Dakota to augment Manitoba’s vaccine rollout and we appreciate their offer to help protect Manitobans and immunize essential workers delivering goods and services,” said Eichler. “We have now surpassed the milestone of 1,000 truck drivers who have been immunized in North Dakota and this demand showcases the importance of this joint initiative with our neighbours to the south.”
Announced in April, the Essential Worker Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative is an opportunity to support Manitoba and North Dakota’s integrated economies by co-operating on the vaccination of individuals who work in both jurisdictions. The first clinic opened April 21 at a northbound rest area on Interstate 29 (I-29) near Drayton, N.D.
The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) and its members have helped the province identify and co-ordinate eligible individuals for the initiative. By co-ordinating with North Dakota, truck drivers transporting goods to and from the United States have been able to schedule vaccination appointments on their routine trips.
“Throughout this pandemic, Manitoba truck drivers knew that they had to stay on the road so that they could deliver the supplies their fellow Manitobans needed to self-isolate safely and comfortably,” said Terry Shaw, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association. “While this couldn’t be done without Manitoba and our willing trucking community, it also couldn’t occur without the generosity of the State of North Dakota. On behalf of the membership of the Manitoba Trucking Association, thank you to our government partners on both sides of the border.”
The state and province have established a joint operations group to manage the initiative. The North Dakota Department of Health is providing nurses and other staff to administer the first and second doses of the vaccine to provide full immunization of truckers. There is no cost to the state or province as the U.S. government supplies the vaccine and reimburses the costs to administer.
Manitoban truck drivers are currently able to get vaccinated at two clinics in North Dakota:
• Oriska rest area on I-94 near Tower City every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and
• Drayton rest area on I-29 near Drayton every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
These locations and hours will be effective to the end of June (updated with new date).
- 30 -
- by Susan Green
In the course of their work into or through North Dakota, drivers who are interested in vaccination should use this website to book appointments (choose Drayton Rest area): https://vaccinereg.health.nd.gov/clinic/search
- Drivers must be able to cross into the U.S. and return to Canada without quarantining
- Have a valid Manitoba Class 1 license and be on assignment
How can I register with a Canadian address and phone number?
To register please go to North Dakota PrepMod and search for Drayton Rest Area location.
- Please, modify your entry as below to capture your Manitoba address.
- City – City and Province (no punctuation please)
- State – ND
- Zip Code – 58225
- County – Out of State
- Insurance – No insurance as there will be no charge
Phone Number – We are currently not able to accept Canadian phone numbers so for the time being please enter 701-999-9999.
What do I need to bring to the appointment?
- Proof of Identification such as your Manitoba driver’s license and your Manitoba health card / PHIN.
Who will administer the vaccines?
- North Dakota Public health nurses will give the injection to individuals in their trucks.
- You will be asked to remain onsite and in your truck for 15 mins after receiving the vaccines to ensure you do not have any side effects. Emergency Medical Technician staff (EMT) will be on site at all times in case of a rare allergic reaction.
- Moderna Vaccine
- Pfizer or Janssen (J&J) vaccines may be available in the future
- Vaccines will be supplied and administered by the State of North Dakota
What happens it I experience a side effect?
- Drivers are asked to remain in their truck during that vaccination process. If you experience a side effect, you are asked to sound your horn to alert the EMT and Nursing staff. IF transportation to a care center is required, there are ambulances on site.
Do I need to confirm that I have health insurance before I get the vaccine?
- There will be no charge for your COVID-19 vaccine so therefore the State of North Dakota will not be gathering insurance information.
Do I have to pay for the vaccine?
- No you do not. There is no charge for your COVID-19 vaccine.
What if I am delayed and will not make my appointment?
You or your dispatch can contact the vaccines scheduling team at 1-701-328-0707 to reschedule your appointment
What about the second dose?
- This pilot will run until May 21, 2021, which will allow for drivers to receive their second shot 28 days after receiving the first. Scheduling for second doses will be done at the time you receive your first dose of vaccine.
Can I bring someone with me to receive their vaccine?
- No this program is only for individuals- drivers- that meet the federal standard to essential transportation workers.
How will Manitoba know that I have receive the vaccine?
You will be required to complete a consent form allowing the State of North Dakota to share your vaccination record with Manitoba. This form requires your Manitoba PHIN, which will ensure your Manitoba vaccination record is updated. You will also receive an immunization record card that you should keep with you at all times.
What it I am not in the North Dakota between Wednesday and Friday?
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister today announced the Essential Worker Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative, where North Dakota will administer COVID-19 vaccinations to Manitoba-based truck drivers transporting goods to and from the United States. This is the first such program between a Canadian and American jurisdiction.
“North Dakota and Manitoba have a long and rich history of friendship and co-operation, and this vaccination initiative is an opportunity to strengthen that bond by offering assistance that will protect public health and the flow of goods and services on both sides of the border,” Burgum said. “With adequate vaccine supplies and all North Dakotans having access to vaccine while Canada is dealing with a vaccine shortage, we want to do our part to ensure essential workers from Canada who are frequently travelling through our state are vaccinated. The timely and effective administration of vaccines is essential for public health and the eventual safe reopening of our shared border.”
The Essential Workers Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative is an opportunity to support Manitoba’s and North Dakota’s integrated economies by co-operating on the vaccination of individuals who work in both jurisdictions.
“As Manitoba faces the third wave of the pandemic and the significant challenges associated with variants of concern, our number one limiting factor in protecting Manitobans is the availability of COVID-19 vaccines,” Pallister said. “Manitoba is proud to partner with North Dakota on this innovative strategy to provide life-saving vaccines to Manitoba’s essential workers delivering the goods and services Manitobans, Canadians and Americans rely on. Manitoba and North Dakota have enjoyed a strong relationship of mutual respect and friendship, and I want to thank Governor Burgum and his team for their willingness to support Manitoba through this joint vaccination effort.”
With the assistance of the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) and its members, Manitoba will identify and co-ordinate with eligible individuals and work with North Dakota to schedule vaccination appointments for truck drivers during their routine trips to the U.S. over the next six to eight weeks. It is estimated roughly 2,000 to 4,000 Manitoba drivers will take part in this program.
“On behalf of my eligible driving staff and all Manitoba Trucking Association members, I welcome today’s announcement,” said Bernie Driedger, president of Portage Transport Inc. “When it comes to the COVID vaccine the most important question is not where can one get it, but when can one get it? To see Manitoba and North Dakota coming together to creatively collaborate on a vaccination strategy that will expedite the vaccination of Manitoba truck drivers working to or through North Dakota is excellent news. This move protects these important essential workers and their families, while also freeing up vaccination spots back in Manitoba. A genuine win/win. We congratulate our provincial government partners on the initiative they took to make this happen”.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation’s rest area near Drayton, N.D., will initially serve as the vaccination site, which will also be open to North Dakotans ages 16 and older to get vaccinated. Vaccinations will take place from noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
The state and province are establishing a joint-operations group to manage the initiative. The North Dakota Department of Health will provide nurses and other staff to administer the first and second doses of the vaccine to provide full immunization of truckers. There is no cost to the state or province as the U.S. government supplies the vaccine and reimburses the costs to administer.
The shared goal of this initiative is to create a model of continental co-operation for others to emulate as we prepare to safely reopen our shared border. Manitoba and North Dakota will consider further joint initiatives to vaccinate other essential workers and Manitobans.
North Dakota and Manitoba share the fifth-busiest border crossing between the United States and Canada, and represents the gateway to economic opportunity and prosperity in the Midwest and Prairies.
In the course of their work into or through North Dakota, drivers who are interested in vaccination should use this website: https://www.health.nd.gov/prepmod