This week we were joined by Debbie White, RN and President of HPAE, who recapped the horror, confusion, and trauma of the first wave of COVID for patients and healthcare workers, while outlining how we can best be prepared to avoid the same issues during a second wave of COVID.

She emphasized the importance of worker voices in pandemic preparedness and how labor unions can lead in fighting to improve health and safety protocols to protect workers and patients. She also elaborated on bills the New Jersey legislature has passed, because of strong organizing from workers, including:

  • Workers Compensation – Presumptive Eligibility
    • S.2380/A.3999: A law to presume that frontline workers who contract the virus got it from workplace exposure for the purposes of employment benefits, including but not limited to workers’ compensation benefits.
  • COVID-19 Racial Data  Tracker
    • S.2357/A.3943: A law to require hospital to report COVID-19 demographic data, including the age, ethnicity, gender and race of persons in this State who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have died from COVID-19, and the number of persons who attempt to get treatment for COVID-19, the number who are admitted and the number of persons who attempt to get tested and were turned away.
  • HC Worker Exposure Data
    • S.2384/A4129: A law to require healthcare facilities to report COVID-19 data related to healthcare workers and certain first responders to the New Jersey DOH. An analysis of the data will help shape legislation, policies, and protocols for future outbreaks.

Here is Debbie White’s powerpoint presentation.

There were more than 74 people who attened this webinar.