Over the weekend, President Trump and the House of Representatives passed a relief bill for the coronavirus. The new bill includes:
FREE COVID-19 TESTING
The first drive through testing center in DFW will begin today at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas. More testing centers will be added in DFW in the coming days.
PROTECTION FOR FIRST RESPONDERS
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is required to issue rules and regulations to increase protections against the coronavirus. First responders will be given priority to testing and safety protections.
PAID SICK LEAVE
The benefit must be paid by employers with less than 500 workers. Any worker who contracts the coronavirus will receive 100% of their wages during recovery and isolation period. Employers will be reimbursed by the federal government via tax credit.
The bill provides $1.3 billion in food aid for low-income pregnant women, senior citizens and food banks. States will be able to provide food stamps to help families and children who would miss out on free meals from schools.
Legislation has provided $1 billion to help those who have been laid off due to the coronavirus outbreak.
What can employers do to help limit the number of outbreaks?
Employers should implement remote working and encourage any employers who have symptoms to stay home. For employees who cannot work remotely, employers must encourage social distancing while at the workplace and provide cleaning supplies for all workstations. Employers should encourage and educate employees on the importance of sanitation and social distancing to help keep the outbreak as minimal as possible.