COVID-192020-09-28T14:20:15-04:00

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 – September 29


Past Webinar Summaries

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|

August 4: Dr. David Michaels on OSHA’s Response and Protecting Workers from COVID-19

This week we spent the hour with Dr. David Michaels, epidemiologist, professor and former Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA under the Obama Administration. Much of Dr. Michaels’ work has focused on protecting the integrity of the science underpinning public health, safety and environmental protections. He is the author of Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health and The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception. It couldn’t be a more relevant moment to hear from Dr. Michaels, as public health guidance in our country is […]

August 4th, 2020|

July 28: Revenue, Services, and Equity: State Budget Challenges in the Era of Covid-19

This week’s topic addressed our state’s pre existing issues with equity, taxation, and funding, and how those issues have been deepened by the COVID-19 crisis.

Brandon McKoy, President at New Jersey Policy Perspective, spoke on New Jersey’s state tax policy’s direct link to issues of equity, and how the Covid-19 crisis has impacted working class communities and communities of color most aggressively. Brandon McKoy emphasized that New Jersey needs to avoid massive cuts to public assets at all costs, and that the consequences of austerity will be dire for our most vulnerable communities. Brandon outlined a range of strategies for bringing in […]

July 28th, 2020|

July 21: Protecting and Celebrating Facility and Manufacturing Workers During Covid-19

This week’s topic, Protecting and Celebrating Facility and Manufacturing Workers During Covid-19 welcomed a panel of guests who represent property service, essential manufacturing, and facility operations workers who have worked hard to keep public and private buildings functional during the pandemic.

Aaron Jones and Carla Thomas, Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ (SEIU); Mike Fisher, Sub-District Director, United Steelworkers (USW); and Frank James, Financial Secretary, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 68 (IUOE) spoke to the occupational safety and health challenges confronting workers during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Our panelists shared their members’ struggle to access and maintain a stable supply of PPE as well as grave […]

July 21st, 2020|

July 14: Student Health, Worker Safety, and Funding Challenges for Higher Education in a COVID-19 World

This week’s topic focused on student and worker safety in the tumultuous and ever-changing landscape of higher education. We heard from three inspiring women who have been organizing higher education faculty and staff across departments and sectors for conditions where every single worker can work safe and receive just compensation.

Christine O’Connell, President of the Union of Rutgers Administrators (URAAFT), began our panel with the story of the Rutgers Coalition of Unions, a network of all unions representing Rutgers employees which formed to help workers support one another across union lines. The Coalition has put forward a joint proposal that includes no layoffs, continued health benefits for furloughed employees, and hazard pay for those who […]

July 14th, 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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