Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Central Alberta firefighter says virus taking toll on mental health

The risk of contracting the novel coronavirus is high for most workers – but even higher for some occupations such as nurses, firefighters and pharmacists.

On top of that, the virus is mentally draining – says a central Alberta firefighter Brad Readman.

Alberta Federation of Labour, with the help of data experts, has identified the potential risk for coronavirus exposure for hundreds of different occupations and created a list of the top 100 Alberta jobs where COVID-19 risk is highest.

Based on the analysis, the Albertan workers considered to be at extreme risk include healthcare workers such as registered nurses, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, optometrists, allied health professionals, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dental hygienists and paramedics.

Many other workers face significant risk of contracting COVID-19 in their workplaces such as police officers, firefighters, and other first responders, as well as, workers who regularly deal with the public such as bus and taxi drivers, recreation and fitness workers, librarians, delivery workers and those in food services and cashiers.

Readman, president of Alberta Fire Fighters Association, said firefighters across the province are taking precautions such as temperature checks, social distancing and wearing proper personal protective equipment.

“Everyone who comes into fire stations (at the beginning of their shift) do an assessment like checking temperatures, answering a questionnaire of any signs or symptoms,” Readman said, to keep everyone safe.

“We’ve changed our procedures in regards to who responds to calls, we’ve divided up crews to ensure only the necessary people are going into and being exposed to a patient with COVID.”

Firefighters have complained in the past about masks of substandard quality citing they didn’t stay up as well as had a funky odour.

“Anytime you talked, they just fall down,” Readman said, adding the new batch of masks is still coming.

He said the risk remains high, noting the risk ranking for firefighters is at 71, according to the list, and 73.5 for fire chiefs and senior firefighting officers.

The virus has a risk to both physical and mental health, Readman said.

“It wears on them – it’s heightened awareness all the time – say (previously) there’s a call about a broken arm, not it’s a broken arm with COVID and that just amplifies the risk,” Readman.

There are also concerns of bringing the virus home to spouses and children – especially during this time when kids are spending time at home.

Roughly there are 20 to 30 firefighters throughout the province who are in self isolation, mostly due to community and workplace exposures.

According to the provincial list, other occupations that face an extreme risk for contracting COVID-19 are correctional officers and flight attendants.

The list of workers at significant risk also includes construction workers and people who work in the trades, as well as musicians, dancers, actors, cashiers, cleaning supervisors, janitors, cooks, plumbers and massage therapists.

Workers whose job is to provide help and care for others also face significant risk including employment counsellors, early childhood educators, social workers, home support workers, translators, and school teachers and counsellors.

Workers who deliver personal services such as hairstylists and barbers, massage therapists, chiropractors, and dietitians are also on the list.

“I’ve said from the beginning with this virus will have the biggest toll on mental health, not only for first responders, but for public as a whole,” said Readman.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Kelowna RCMP Stock Image.
Bentley post office damaged, armed robbery at Subway

Sylvan Lake RCMP respond to incidents in Bentley last month

James Taylor of Rimbey has won $100,000 from a scratch ticket. (Photo submitted)
Rimbey winner scratches his way to $100,000 prize

James Taylor says store staff were almost more excited than he was

A central Alberta woman is collecting Christmas gift donations for roughly 85 residents at Valleyview Manor in Rimbey. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)
Rimbey woman gathering Christmas gifts for seniors at Valleyview Manor

Margaret Tanasiuk says she doesn’t want anyone to feel forgotten on Christmas morning

Bids for Kids poster
Wolf Creek Youth Foundation online auction gets ‘overwhelming’ response

Santa’s Bids for Kids auction to benefit youth programs in Rimbey, Ponoka

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

A scene from last year’s Light the Night fundraiser at the Stettler Town and Country Museum. This year’s rendition is on a drive-through basis only, but it still promises to be a not-to-be-missed seasonal highlight. (Independent file photo)
Stettler Town and Country Museum hosts ‘Light the Night’

This year’s rendition is drive-through only, but will still prove to be a dazzling display

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup Craig Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside Rock Soup’s location until the Go Fund Me for Rock Soup raises $10,000. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Putting normalcy into asking for help: New non-profit sets up in Wetaskiwin

Rock Soup non-profit is a new secular Food Bank putting down roots in Wetaskiwin.

Wetaskiwin Composite High School. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools prepare for transition back to online learning

Grades 7-12 will are mandated to transfer to online learning starting Nov. 30, 2020.

Most Read