The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Employer Communication


Essential workers are risking their lives. It’s time Congress protects all essential workers and puts all working people, including immigrants, at the center of the next relief package.

CALL (866) 426-2631 and tell Congress we need:

  • At least $15/hr
  • PPE
  • Paid sick/family leave
  • Hazard pay
  • Housing support

We demand that Congress address the need to provide PPE to all healthcare workers, hazard pay for all essential workers putting their lives at risk, paid sick and family leave for all essential workers, and emergency support such as subsidies for child care or housing.

It’s time our elected officials put working people at the forefront of this relief instead of millionaires and corporations.  




A new coronavirus, COVID-19, has been identified as the cause of a cluster of severe pneumonia cases that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to many countries. More cases are being identified and confirmed daily, and there are numerous cases of medical workers contracting the virus.

While much has been learned about COVID-19, there is still a lot public health experts don’t know.

  • What is known: 
    • It is a coronavirus, which is a large family of viruses that can infect humans and/or animals. While COVID-19 is in the same family as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), the fatality rate is lower for COVID-19 in comparison to these other viruses.
    • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and/or symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as coughing or difficulty breathing. Emerging evidence suggests that many individuals with COVID-19 show no symptoms or only mild symptoms.
    • Human-to-human transmission is confirmed. Asymptomatic people can transmit the virus.
  • What is unknown:
    • With some viruses, the infectious period precedes symptoms and with other viruses it coincides with symptoms — we don’t know yet know about COVID-19.
    • Whether the disease is transmitted via contact, droplet or aerosol.

On preventing the spread of the virus:

  • COVID-19 is preventable and treatable, but only if we ensure working people are informed and protected.
  • Basic wellness practices like frequent handwashing and staying home if we’re sick can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Working people across the country, including people on the front lines of our healthcare system, schools and airport workers, face an increased risk of exposure to illness.
  • Employers must have contingency plans should working people see their workplaces closed or their hours scaled back if this health emergency grows.

SEIU Local 73 has joined a coalition of unions, community groups and state, county and local elected officials to announce a platform of common good reforms to protect the health and well being of workers and families in the wake of any COVD-19 closures of schools and workplaces. 

Comprehensive demands call for paid time off for workers across the state, free testing for students, families in need, meals for quarantined low-income students, better planning for deep cleanings at schools and public spaces, and policies to tackle digital divide for students mandated to distance learning during school closures.

With more cases of COVID-19 showing up in the United States, let’s remember to keep calm and support our communities. Below are ten steps to preventing the Coronavirus.

Visit the RESOURCES page for 10 Steps to Preventing Coronavirus & A Fact Sheet for Healtchare Workers.

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