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COVID-19 Resources

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What is COVID-19?

The most recent coronavirus, COVID-19, is a new strain of virus that hasn’t been identified before in humans. The COVID-19 virus is a respiratory pathogen that is highly contagious, and it is far more lethal than the flu virus.

Some symptoms of coronavirus include – fever, cough, body aches and tiredness and they can worsen and cause pneumonia, fluid in the lungs that leads to shortness of breath. The COVID-19 illness is more severe than the flu, and the chance of dying from it is greater than the seasonal flu, estimates up to 30x greater risk of death. COVID-19 has been able to spread from person to person very easily and requires an immediate response to protect workers and the general public.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks because these droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Protect Yourself!

                                                                    Steps to Take to Protect Yourself

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention video on proper hand washing technique.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Below are some steps you can take to protect yourself at work or in your daily life. This is not a comprehensive list. It is important to note, as more is learned about COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to update their guidance on how to protect yourself. For the most recent updates, visit the CDC website.

  • Stay at home — except to get essentials like food and medicine.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Social Distance – if you have to go out, keep your distance — stay at least six feet away from others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you are around others AND still social distance.
  • Make a plan, so you only visit the grocery store or pharmacy once a week during off-peak hours for the shortest amount of time possible.
  • Do not gather in person. Stay in touch with friends and family over the phone or online.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • If you’re sick, stay at home! (Unless it’s to get medical care)
  • Only go to the hospital for urgent symptoms.
  • Self-isolate if you have mild symptoms.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch often.

Employers should follow the MOST protective guidance and standards issued by state or federal agencies. If guidance contradicts each other, the MOST protective should be implemented.

Credit: National COSH. Click to image enlarge (PDF).

Credit: National COSH. Click to image enlarge

Credit: National COSH. Click to image enlarge

Webinars

COVID-19 Weekly Updates: Saving Lives, Protecting Workers

In this weekly series, we will hear from and talk with public health experts, government officials, medical personnel, front-line workers and worker representatives about the latest developments in the fight against COVID-19. The series is sponsored by WEC, Rutgers Learn and Jersey Renews and airs on Tuesday @ 10am.


Next Webinar – January 26: Join Dr. Tina Tan, DOH Asst. Commissioner and State Epidemiologist as we discuss COVID-19.  REGISTER HERE

Past Webinar Summaries

January 19: Impact of COVID-19 on NJ Long-Term Care

This week we covered the effect of COVID-19 on long-term care facilities, which have been ground zero for viral outbreaks. As the pandemic has ravaged senior communities across the country and frontline healthcare workers have faced PPE shortages, the federal government has offered weak and inconsistent aid to beleaguered nursing homes.

To discuss the ongoing impact of the pandemic on long-term care, we were joined by Matte Kane, Union Representative, UFCW 152, Kendra Bass, LPN, United Steelworkers Local 406 Recording Secretary, and Phillis Shivers, District 1199J, National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFSCME, AFL-CIO.

Our guests spoke to the unique workplace risks […]

January 21st, 2021|

January 12: Exploring Public Health Efforts to Test, Monitor, and Contact Trace COVID-19 Infections

In our first webinar of the new year, we welcomed Betsy Marshall, PhD, Epidemiologist, Rutgers School of Public Health, Paschal Nwako, PhD, MPH, County Health Officer & Public Health Coordinator, Camden County NJ, and Lindsay Berg and Alisa Fatima, Contact Tracer Supervisors, Mercer County NJ.

All four of our guests discussed the importance of identifying, monitoring, and supporting individuals who may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, and of the specific regional challenges faced by the public health community in Camden and Mercer county, respectively. More than 110 people attended this webinar.

Here is the link to the New Jersey Community Contact […]

January 13th, 2021|

December 15: The State of the State: COVID-19 Q and A with the Governor’s Office, DOL, and DOH

Today we heard from the Governor’s Office and state agencies on NJ’s near and long-term plans to slow the spread of COVID-19, including the rollout of a newly available vaccine and the implementation of worker protection Executive Order 192.

Deborah Cornavaca, Deputy Chief of Staff at Governor Murphy’s Office, outlined the state’s vaccination plan for the coming months, including a tier system to prioritize frontline workers and immunization record-keeping to track both stages of vaccination. She emphasized the importance of community outreach about the vaccine and working with community leaders.

Jill Gutierrez, Director of Strategic Planning and Outreach for the New Jersey Department […]

December 16th, 2020|

December 8: Race, Class, and Covid

This week we were joined by Les Leopold, co-founder and Executive Director of the Labor Institute. Les, who is the author of several books on the financialization of the US Economy, including Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice, spoke to the role the ultra-rich, hedge funds and other financial institutions have played in exacerbating COVID-19’s impact, specifically on communities of color and poor communities. He covered the economic mechanisms these institutions use to extract wealth from our medical infrastructure, resulting in the severe lack of preparedness for […]

December 10th, 2020|

December 1: Tackling Covid-19 through Training and Health and Safety Committee

This week,, we were joined by representatives from the Communication Workers of America, including Fran Ehret, CWA NJ National Staff Representative, Bill Bradley, CWA NJ Senior Campaign Lead, Jim McAsey, CWA NJ National Staff Representative, Keith Felder, Executive Vice President of CWA Local 1087, Trina Scordo, Executive Director of New Jersey Communities United, and Jon Worley, President of CWA Local 1084.

The first two speakers discussed some of the educational and skills-building trainings the national health and safety committee has facilitated with over 350 rank-and-file H&S committee members from over 20 Locals in the public and private sectors in NJ. We also heard […]

December 3rd, 2020|

The COVID-19 webinar series is sponsored by

Benefits for Workers

Click image to enlarge.

NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development Resources

Federal Paid Sick Leave and CARES act expansions and stimulus

Resources

New Jersey 24-Hour Public Hotline -1-800-222-1222
Call 2-1-1
Text “NJCOVID” to 898-211; text your zip code to 898-211 for live text assistance

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