With the Omicron variant of COVID spreading throughout Saskatchewan, people will inevitably be infected and end up having to self-isolate for a period of time.
That can mean missed hours for those who are looking to work and ultimately a thinner paycheck.
The Worker's Compensation Board for Saskatchewan is accepting COVID infections for cases of compensation with a few rules surrounding those claims.
Vice President of Operations Jennifer Norleen-Beitel says they've established a team just for these cases.
"When this pandemic first started, we recognized that this was a new situation for us and we didn't want there to be confusion and delays. We established a separate team of individuals to manage these claims so they could be prioritized and we could also ensure consistency among the claims that were coming in for COVID."
"If you're looking to submit a claim for COVID exposure," said Norleen-Beitel, "If someone thinks they've been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace, we certainly encourage them to reach out to us and start the process."
While a PCR test is preferred for the claim, the board is willing to work around a lack of one in some cases.
"We would encourage them to seek a PCR test if possible," said Norleen-Beitel, "But we consider claims on a case-by-case basis so if workers are having any kind of trouble accessing anything, just give us a call and we can work through initiating that claim process."
If a worker does end up going to a private clinic to get a PCR test, Norleen-Beitel says that they're willing to reimburse for those costs while the claim is being considered.
"The COVID claim is really treated the same as any other worker's compensation claim," said Norleen-Beitel, "There's an injury there and in terms of COVID the claim can be handled no differently than if someone were to break an arm or another type of physical injury."