The man many people have come to see as the face of the response to COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, delivered a disheartening update about the spread of the virus to Congress. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases testified today and scolded the U.S. public and federal officials.
The pandemic expert told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that COVID-19 will continue to spread unless “everyone ups their game.” These are not encouraging words and serve as a reminder of the importance of employees who are returning to work to be vigilant with wearing masks and practicing social distancing. It also is a reminder for employers of the responsibility to protect their workers from harm.
Fauci zeroed in on three failings by authorities and the public. He said that many states have reopened too quickly, authorities are not doing a good job of contact tracing, and people are not sticking to the rules of social distancing.
He predicted that there could be more than 100,000 new cases a day, up from the 40,000 per day the country is currently reporting.
We have reminded employees of the importance of keeping yourselves safe as you're being called back to work during these trying times.
You should still follow guidance from the CDC and other public health officials.
On our blog, we have examined other issues around COVID-19 such as whether it could trigger accommodations for employees with disabilities.
During a podcast, Amanda Farahany provided great guidance on workplace legal issues related to the disease.
You can see all our articles, posts and interviews around COVID-19 on the Barrett & Farahany blog.
If you are still facing hardships because of furloughs, reduced work, or other issues related to the pandemic our COVID-19 Resource Center can point you to some agencies and programs that might be able to help you.
As Dr. Fauci made clear today, we can't let our guard down. He said he hopes a vaccine can be developed by early 2021, but he said even if one is developed, it probably won't provide 100% immunity.
As you return to work, if you have any concerns about the procedures your employer is implementing, you should speak with your manager about them. If you have any serious problems, you can reach out to us at 404-487-0903 or visit our website at www.justiceatwork.com to schedule a call with an attorney who can discuss any issues with you.