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With COVID-19, Worker Health is Public Health

The crisis of COVID-19 has already raised so many questions about health and safety protections at work: protection from the virus itself, protection from workplace abuses related to the virus, protection from the deep inequities of our economic system, protection from the racism that too often surges during public health crises. 

COVID-19 has thrust worker safety and health into the spotlight — where it should have been all along and where it must stay if we are to flatten the curve and weather this storm. Worker health and public health have always been one in the same, and this fact has never been clearer.

At Worksafe, we are joining with allies to support workers during this unbelievably difficult time. Last week, we sent an urgent letter to the Governor urging immediate steps to ensure that healthcare employers fully implement California’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard. We have added a new page to our website where we'll be collecting information and advocacy alerts related to coronavirus. And we hope you'll join Worksafe and National COSH this week for Webinars on Coronavirus: What Workers and Advocates Need to Know (English on Thursday and Spanish, with our own Nicole Marquez-Baker, on Friday).

Like other organizations across the globe, we are adjusting our work practices to cope with this new reality. Our offices are closed, and we are working from home. We are checking in daily by video feed, and we even managed to have a fully-virtual board meeting. We are getting to know each other’s house pets (who really seem to enjoy the attention of the camera). We are supporting each other in these strange and stressful times, and we are acknowledging the weight of collective grief.

As many have expressed, now is the time for physical distancing coupled with fierce social solidarity. We invite you to stay connected with our work — follow us on Twitter or Facebook, and never hesitate to reach out directly. We will get through this together, and we will emerge stronger and more united on the other side.
In Solidarity,
Augustin, Joan, Jora, Karin, Maggie, Mara, Nicole, Stephen, and Thais