Harm reduction worker safety during the COVID-19 global pandemic
National Rapid Guidance
Citation: Elton-Marshall, T., Ali, F., Narkar, R., Hyshka, E., Shahin, R., Hopkins, S., Imtiaz, S., Graham, B., Garber, G. & Rehm, J. Harm reduction worker safety during the COVID-19 global pandemic: National Rapid Guidance. Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse; March 31, 2021. 65 p. Version 2.
About this Document: This document is one of a series of six national guidance documents, rapidly developed by the CRISM network at the request of the Government of Canada. Collectively, the six documents address urgent needs of people who use substances, service providers, and decision makers in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The urgent nature of this work required rapid development and dissemination of this guidance. This, and the continuing evolution of the knowledge base regarding COVID-19, precluded CRISM from conducting a comprehensive review of the relevant literature. However, when available, scientific evidence is cited in support of the expert advice offered herein. The guidance provided in this document is subject to change as new information becomes available. Readers should note that the intent of this document is to provide general guidance rather than detailed procedural and logistical advice. Readers are advised to consult local public health PAGE 4 | Harm Reduction Worker Safety | NATIONAL RAPID GUIDANCE and medical authorities for specific input on navigating their own unique regulatory and policy environments, as necessary.
The CRISM/COVID-19 guidance documents cover the following topics:
• Supporting People Who Use Substances in Shelter Settings During the COVID-19 Pandemic
• Telemedicine Support for Addiction Services
• Harm Reduction Worker Safety (this document)
• Strategies to Reduce SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in Supportive Recovery Programs and
Residential Addiction Treatment Services
• Supporting People Who Use Substance in Acute Care Settings
• Strategies to Help Individuals Self-Isolate for People who use Drugs
Completed documents may be accessed at: https://crism.ca/projects/covid/. Each document was developed by a core CRISM national authorship committee, drawing on expert knowledge, available scientific evidence, and a review of relevant documentation from Public Health authorities. Draft documents produced by each authorship committee were reviewed by pan-Canadian panels of content and clinical experts. People with lived and living experience of substance use have participated in the production of the CRISM/COVID-19 guidance document series, either as part of review or authorship committees. A Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Directed Operating Grant to CRISM provided funding for this work.