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National Safety Council and Partners Call for Coronavirus Tests for all U.S. Businesses and Worksites
In a letter to Vice President Pence, more than 50 organizations urge federal government to make COVID-19 testing available to employers maintaining operations during the pandemic
With about 25% of people who have coronavirus being asymptomatic, workers could be at risk for contracting COVID-19 without realizing it, and workplace access to testing should be a priority as testing supplies become more abundant.
“We cannot flatten the curve without protecting our nation’s workers, many of whom have continued reporting to traditional worksites in the midst of this global pandemic, unable to work remotely” said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “We must protect these workers, and one of the best ways to do so is by conducting more tests. As soon as tests are widely available, we expect that our nation’s employers will have access to them.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced workplaces across the U.S. to close or limit operations to protect public health and safety. As of April 1, 55 states and territories had some closures of non-essential businesses, and 28 states and territories have prohibited in-person workforces for non-essential businesses. However, states and territories have deemed some businesses and sectors as “essential,” and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance on the essential critical infrastructure workforce. Employees engaged in critical and essential business are required to be at a physical worksite in some proximity to other employees and/or customers.
As the group writes in its letter, “a lack of easily accessible COVID-19 testing means that some of our employees may unknowingly be coming to work and spreading the disease to their co-workers and the public.”
For more information about the NSC response to COVID-19, please visit nsc.org/coronavirus.
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