COVID-19 Resources

Weekly Webinars
Worker Benefits

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.

  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19. Wear your mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face, slipping the loops over your ears or tying the strings behind your head.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others who don’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Wash your hands often. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Monitor health daily.
  • Get Vaccinated to Protect Against COVID-19
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch often. Use cleaning products as directed.

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.

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

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.  Want to receive weekly series emails, sign up here.

Past Webinar Summaries

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

This week we were joined by Dr. Tina Tan, MD, MPH, State Epidemiologist and Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health at the New Jersey Department of Health, where she oversees program areas in general communicable disease surveillance and control, immunizations, environmental and occupational health, and cancer epidemiology.

Dr. Tan traced the origin of the virus outbreak in the US and NJ, contextualizing the viruses history thus far and challenges in tracing and managing the outbreak for both the state and the nation. She covered our shift from a state of emergency, to the cancellation of mass […]

January 27th, 2021|

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 22: A COVID-19 Year in Review

This week we rounded out the year with a panel of guests who helped us understand how COVID-19 has affected their members in 2020, new challenges we face as we head into the second wave, and the steps workers, unions, and advocates need to take in 2021 to ensure a safe, healthy year for everyone.

We were joined by:

Debbie White, President, Health Professionals and Allied Employees, AFT, who spoke to the lack of employer reporting on COVID-19 cases and the dangers HPAE’s members face as a result, and on bills that HPAE has campaigned on to change that.

Nancy Miller, Membership Assistance Program […]

December 22nd, 2020|

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|

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


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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