COVID-192020-09-16T15:34:25-04:00

COVID-19 Resources

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Worker Benefits
Resources

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 – September 22: Preparing for Natural Disaster During a Pandemic  REGISTER HERE


Past Webinar Summaries

September 15: Worker Health = Public Health during a Pandemic

This week we were joined by:

  • Peter Dooley (MS, CIH, CSP) Safety and Health Senior Project Coordinator for National COSH and President of LaborSafe, who spoke about the importance of health and safety organizing, and its connection to broader public health issues, in building worker power. He went on to discuss national COSH’s historical work around these issues through community RIght to Know campaigns around the country.
  • George T. DeFerdinando, Jr., MD, MPH, FACP, Chair of the Princeton NJ Board of Health and on the Executive Committee of the New Jersey Local Boards of Health Association, who spoke about some […]
September 16th, 2020|

September 1: Labor Day Celebration & The Importance of Worker’s Voice During the Age of COVID, with Special Guest Elise Bryant

This week we held a Labor Day discussion about the role of union and worker voices in ensuring workplace safety.

We were joined by acclaimed labor activist Elise Bryant, Executive Director of the Labor Heritage Foundation and President of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. Elise shared that one in three jobs categorized as essential are held by women. She spoke about how women have held multiple rolls during the pandemic and shared that Black and Latina women have suffered the largest job loss and biggest pay gap. Sadly, domestic abuse has also skyrocketed during this time as well. Ms. Bryant stated that this is the time for the […]

September 1st, 2020|

August 25: This Week’s Update: A Conversation with Deborah Cornavaca

This week Deborah Cornavaca, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor, State of New Jersey joined us to give an update on the Governor’s response to COVID-19. Deborah spoke about the Governor’s proposed budget, which has significant cuts compared to the budget that was presented in March due to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. She also spoke about the importance of addressing race and economic inequality in the budget through fair and progressive taxation. Deborah also spoke about the state’s schedule and plans for gradual reopening and steps the Governor has taken regarding health and safety in the […]

August 25th, 2020|

August 18: Mental Wellbeing and Coping with Stress During COVID-19

This week we discussed how stress during the COVID-19 crisis can affect your mental health and the wellbeing of your family, friends, work colleagues and community.

We were joined by Ashlee Fitch, Director, United Steelworkers’ Tony Mazzocchi Training Center, who discussed the importance of recognizing different kinds of stress, stressful and life-altering events, symptoms of mental health problems and post-traumatic stress disorder, and how important it is to take action to protect your mental health. Ashlee made us aware of International Overdose Awareness Day to be held on August 31, 2020.

We were also joined by Tracy F.H. Chang, Ph.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor, School of […]

August 18th, 2020|

August 11: State Action on COVID-19 Worker Protection

This week’s topic addressed State Action on Covid-19 Worker Protections. As the federal government continues to shirk its responsibility to protect workers, advocates across the country have turned their attention to states and local municipalities to demand action. Many states, like NJ, currently only have executive orders regarding COVID-19 which are very difficult to enforce and provide little to no worker protection.

We welcomed Debbie Berkowitz, Worker Health & Safety Program Director, National Employment Law Project who has deep legal and policy expertise, and works on and promotes policies that improve workers’ lives. “In this crisis to protect the public you have to protect the workers. Worker health is […]

August 11th, 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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