Note: Information on this website may change as the situation/recommendations/resources evolve.
The United States and the world are facing the very real threat of the widespread transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Federal health officials have said the spread of the virus is likely and may cause severe disruptions to everyday life.
Health care workers, firefighters, police, airline workers, emergency service workers and other first responders will be on the front lines of responding to an outbreak. But as we have seen with the initial response to the virus on our nation’s shores, our health care workers and first responders do not have the necessary resources and equipment or adequate training and communication available to protect them from contracting, and spreading, this virus.
The COVID-19 coronavirus isn’t the first time our nation has faced the threat of a pandemic outbreak. In the past two decades alone, we have seen deadly viruses such as SARS, Ebola, swine flu (H1N1) and avian flu (H5N1) pose the real threat of causing a national health emergency. And each emerging public health threat revealed a woefully unprepared health care system unable to adequately address these threats by reducing the risk of exposure to the general public and giving proper protection, resources and training to workers on the front lines.
The labor movement has long advocated for increased federal, state and local funding needed to restore the public health infrastructure and to respond to public health emergencies, and the comprehensive, enforceable standards necessary to ensure all workers on the front line of an outbreak are protected from infectious disease agents so they can provide the vital services, treatment and care the public depends on.
The AFL-CIO is working with our affiliates to immediately develop and disseminate educational, training and logistical resources and recommendations and the most up-to-date materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the World Health Organization, research experts and others about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, many of which are listed below.
Resources and Guidance
AFL-CIO: Coronavirus: COVID-19 Flier
CDC: Prevention and Treatment
CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), February 2020
CDC: COVID-19 Information for Travelers
CDC: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
CDC: What to Do If You Are Sick with COVID-19
OSHA: Protecting Workers During a Pandemic fact sheet
OSHA: Information for Workers and Employers About the Coronavirus Outbreak
OSHA: COVID-19 Control and Prevention
OSHA: Interim Guidance for Business Travelers
Government of Canada: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Update
Health Care Workers
WHO: Infection Prevention and Control During Health Care When Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) Infection Is Suspected
WHO: Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
WHO: Advice on the use of masks in the community, during home care and in healthcare settings in the context of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak
WHO: Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected
WHO: Home care for patients with suspected novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection presenting with mild symptoms and management of contacts
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Workers
Emergency Response Workers
CDC: Interim Recommendations for Airlines and Airline Crew: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China
CDC: Guidance for Airlines on Reporting Onboard Deaths or Illnesses to CDC
CDC: Preventing Spread of Disease on Commercial Aircraft: Guidance for Cabin Crew
Maritime and Transportation Workers
International Transport Workers’ Federation: Coronavirus Update and Advice
U.S. Coast Guard: Marine Safety Information Bulletin on Novel Coronavirus
Public Works and Maintenance Workers
This article first appeared on the AFL-CIO Website