All news related to the Covid-19 virus.

More than 40 organizations, unions urge OSHA to extend protections for healthcare workers

More than 40 organizations, including unions, and more than 6,300 individuals have signed a petition urging the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to make its emergency temporary standard permanent for healthcare workplaces. Read more here.

By |2021-12-22T15:55:03-05:00December 22nd, 2021|Covid-19, Highlights, WEC in the News|Comments Off on More than 40 organizations, unions urge OSHA to extend protections for healthcare workers

Unions, public health, and occupational safety organizations call for permanent OSHA Covid-19 standards for health care and other workers

More than 40 unions and other organizations signed a petition, along with more than 6,300 individuals, to urge the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to adopt a permanent standard on Covid-19 in health care workplaces, building on the emergency temporary standard (ETS) OSHA adopted in June and set to expire on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. The petition also encouraged OSHA to work expediently to issue a separate, broader standard to protect all workers from workplace exposure to Covid-19 and other aerosol transmissible diseases. The petition was delivered to OSHA today, announced National Nurses United (NNU). Read more here.

By |2021-12-21T14:41:35-05:00December 21st, 2021|Covid-19, Highlights, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Unions, public health, and occupational safety organizations call for permanent OSHA Covid-19 standards for health care and other workers

November 16: Emotional Health and Resources for Children and Families During COVID-19

For our last episode in this eight-part miniseries we invited Dave Ellis, Executive Director, Office of Resilience, NJ Department of Children and Families; Amanda Adams, co-chair of the NJEA ACEs Taskforce; and Liz Warner, President, SEL4NJ to discuss how the pandemic has led to an increase of adverse conditions for children and families. Programs addressing social and emotional learning (SEL) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) help ensure that children and families live in good conditions with the supportive services they need. Liz talked about the social-emotional skills of students and staff to create the foundation for a positive school climate. U.S. public-school teachers surveyed in January and February 2021 reported they are almost twice as likely to experience frequent job-related stress as the general employed and teachers are three times more likely to experience depression symptoms than the general adult population. SEL programs in schools can benefit students and staff. View Liz’s presentation here for more information including resources. Amanda spoke about Actions 4 ACEs, a statewide initiative to build awareness about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the role adults can play in reducing the impact of trauma and helping children heal. Two out of three children, nationally, have had at least one ACE. Dave spoke about the NJ Resilience Coalition [...]

By |2021-11-18T15:42:52-05:00November 18th, 2021|Covid-19, Covid-19 Webinars|Comments Off on November 16: Emotional Health and Resources for Children and Families During COVID-19

November 9: Resources for Safety and Support for Domestic Violence Victims During a Pandemic

This week we were joined by Womanspace Inc.'s Joshua Duncan and Bri-Anne Gladd. Woven within the core of Womanspace Inc.’s 40 year history is the mission to empower and provide safety to all who face abuse and violence at home and at work. Joshua Duncan, Womanspace Domestic Violence Victim Response Team Coordinator, shared that 20,000 calls are placed a day to domestic violence hotlines. There are resources available to victims including paid leave benefits. He also emphasised how we must educate ourselves about domestic abuse and the recovery process in order to be able to help others. Joshua, along with Bri-Anne Gladd, Womanspace Counselor Advocate, provided the audience with numerous resources to assist victims. "Abuse can come in many forms, outside of the physical”, they explained, and shared a power and control wheel depicting different forms. More than 23 people attended this webinar. Please visit the following links to find further resources available in the fight against abuse and click here for a copy of their presentation. Programs - NJ Coalition to End Domestic Violence (njcedv.org) Resources (ncadv.org) Womanspace My Leave Benefits

By |2021-11-18T15:40:48-05:00November 10th, 2021|Covid-19, Covid-19 Webinars|Comments Off on November 9: Resources for Safety and Support for Domestic Violence Victims During a Pandemic

October 26: Vaccines, Boosters & NJ Vaccine Distribution Program

This week we were joined by Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, Co-Executive Director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health and Dr. David Adinaro, Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Services, New Jersey Department of Health. Marcy started the episode off with breaking news - Doug Parker was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Parker brings his experience as head of Cal/OSHA, the nation’s largest statewide safety agency. He also served as executive director at Worksafe, a non-profit that provides legal services and public advocacy for workers seeking to improve safety on the job. Worksafe and WEC are both affiliates of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. Then Dr. Adinaro shared with us the latest recommendations from the C.D.C on COVID-19 vaccine boosters. The new recommendations read as follows: For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series: 65 years and older, Ages 50-65 who live in long-term care settings, Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions, Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings. For those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, booster shots are also [...]

By |2021-10-28T16:54:23-04:00October 27th, 2021|Covid-19, Covid-19 Webinars|Comments Off on October 26: Vaccines, Boosters & NJ Vaccine Distribution Program

October 19: OSHA’s ETS and State Government Infectious Disease Prevention Policies

We were joined this week by Debbie Berkowitz, former Program Director of Worker Health and Safety of the National Employment Law Project and Marina Jabsky, Industrial Hygienist for NYCOSH. Debbie discussed what the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on vaccine mandates and testing may include. The new ETS, which will cover both private and public sector, may be out as early as next week. Here in NJ, the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH), has 30 days to adopt it. Questions remain on whether employers will be responsible for paying for COVID-19 testing in the absence of an employee getting vaccinated. Marina walked us through the requirements of the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act) that was signed into law on May 5, 2021. The law mandates new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic including an Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard. New York is the only state in the country to have such a standard. Under this new law, the New York State Department of Labor, in consultation with the NYS Department of Health developed a Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan, and various industry-specific model plans for the prevention of airborne infectious disease. Employers can choose to adopt the applicable [...]

By |2021-10-21T11:09:27-04:00October 21st, 2021|Covid-19, Covid-19 Webinars|Comments Off on October 19: OSHA’s ETS and State Government Infectious Disease Prevention Policies

October 12: Building Equity and Resilience in Vulnerable Communities – Community Engagement Across New Jersey

Dr. Rick Marlink, Director of the Rutgers Global Health Institute, shared details of their initiatives in Newark, New Brunswick, and Trenton on advancing health equity and an equitable recovery for women and minority owned small and micro businesses throughout the pandemic. The program's manager, Arpita Jindani described the efforts necessary to stop the domino effect that takes place when small locally owned businesses close. Their program assists with COVID-19 training, testing, and pop-up vaccination sites in addition to creating local Resilience Networks that provide small businesses connections with local support groups for financial and material support. Former Asbury Park Mayor, Myra Campbell, continued the conversation on the importance of meeting the community members where they are to lower barriers of participation. Myra shared C.U.R.E.D.'s (Communities United Reaction to Eliminating Disparities) initiatives in Asbury Park and Neptune. C.U.R.E.D. was able to bring testing, education, and vaccination clinics directly to community hubs such as local churches. Partner groups in the effort include the New Jersey Black Women Physicians Association. You can find the slides from the presentation here. For more information on the Rutgers Global Health Institute and their Equitable Recovery Program, please use the links below. More than 20 people attended this webinar. Equitable Recovery for New Jersey's Small Businesses | Rutgers Global Health Institute New Brunswick Store Owner [...]

By |2021-10-18T12:59:15-04:00October 18th, 2021|Covid-19, Covid-19 Webinars|Comments Off on October 12: Building Equity and Resilience in Vulnerable Communities – Community Engagement Across New Jersey

October 5: Building Ventilation and Minimizing Exposure to COVID-19

This episode we hosted industrial hygienist Allen Barkkume, MS, who informed us about the importance of good building ventilation to help mitigate COVID-19 transmission.  Allen explained the hierarchy of controls and the top priority for proper building ventilation is to bring in fresh outdoor air followed by air exhaust, dilution and finally filtration in order of importance. You can find the slides from the presentation here. For more information on building ventilation, please use the links from the last slide in the presentation. More than 40 people attended this webinar.

By |2021-10-08T19:16:57-04:00October 6th, 2021|Covid-19, Covid-19 Webinars|Comments Off on October 5: Building Ventilation and Minimizing Exposure to COVID-19

September 28: OSHA’s ETS & Guidance for Mitigating & Preventing Spread of COVID-19

This episode we hosted OSHA's Region 2 Steve Kaplan, Deputy Regional Administrator, Laura Kenny, Assistant Regional Administrator for Technical Support, and Warren Simpson, Assistant Regional Administrator for Enforcement Programs who gave us insight into the updated COVID-19 guidelines for all workers and details about the Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare Workers.  Assistant Regional Administrator for Technical Support Warren Simpson informed us, "over 50% of all COVID related citations in the U.S came from Region 2 of OSHA".  You can find the slides from the presentation here. For more information on OHSA, ETS and their enforcement efforts, please use the following links from their webpage.   More than 40 people attended this webinar. ETS (regulatory text) - https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets Summary Data for Federal and State Programs – Enforcement - https://www.osha.gov/enforcement/covid-19-data

By |2021-09-29T13:54:04-04:00September 29th, 2021|Covid-19, Covid-19 Webinars|Comments Off on September 28: OSHA’s ETS & Guidance for Mitigating & Preventing Spread of COVID-19

September 21: The Latest Science on the Virus and Vaccines with NJ Department of Health Expert

After a 5-month hiatus, the COVID-19 Weekly Update returned on September 21 in response to the rise of the Delta variant, the emergence of breakthrough cases, and the increasing number of cases in children which have set us back into uncertain waters as we enter the autumn season when people will be spending more time indoors. This week received an update from Dr. Meg Fisher from the NJ Department of Health about the latest science on COVID-19, including transmissibility and vaccine efficacy as well as an update on where things are currently in NJ in terms of cases, vaccines, and possible next steps such as booster shots. Here is Dr. Fisher's presentation. More than 82 people attended this webinar.

By |2021-09-22T15:16:16-04:00September 22nd, 2021|Covid-19, Covid-19 Webinars|Comments Off on September 21: The Latest Science on the Virus and Vaccines with NJ Department of Health Expert
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