FACING THE COVID-19 CRISIS
The COVID-19 pandemic was declared on March 11, 2020, resulting in unprecedented times and introducing unique and complex challenges worldwide. Three days later, on March 14, 2020, there was evidence of the virus in Newfoundland and Labrador just when plans were underway to open the crab fishery, mobilizing over 10,000 people across the province. By the end of March, Newfoundland and Labrador had the second-highest incidence of COVID-19 per capita in Canada. To say that COVID-19 had a tremendous impact on how engagement with fish harvesters and industry stakeholders was conducted in 2020 would be an understatement.
In order to gain an understanding of COVID-19 and its potential impact on the fish harvesting industry, the NL-FHSA began collaborating with a working group comprised of its board members, the FFAW/Unifor inshore council members, and the PFHCB. In addition, individual consultations took place with members of the Advisory Committee, fish harvesting safety associations across the country, as well as the Provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) and her team, for guidance.