Getty Images
Coronavirus 2 5e98b076bae6c

Groups Representing Essential Workers Call for Widespread COVID-19 Testing Methods

April 16, 2020
More than 50 NGOs pen letter to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

A quarter of people who carry the novel coronavirus are asymptomatic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

With this unnerving statistic making the headlines, the National Safety Council and 50 other non-governmental organizations representing America's essential workers have collaborated on a letter addressed to United States' Vice President Mike Pence.

The letter urges government officials to implement widespread workplace access for COVID-19 once testing supplies are more readily available.

While the letter supports prioritizing testing frontline workers in healthcare and emergency services, it references the businesses and sectors there have been determined to be essential.

"Increased access to COVID-19 testing for our workforce will help flatten the curve by removing people with coronavirus from the workplace and better ensure the safety and health of employees who are maintaining operations during this pandemic," the organizations state.

Essential workers across all industries from trucking, agriculture, landscape and poultry production, to utilities and manufacturing are represented in the 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," the letter says.

"Employees engaged in critical infrastructure and essential business are required to be at a physical worksite in some proximity to other employees and/or customers," the organizations explain in the letter. "We have a responsibility to ensure that they can perform their work in a safe environment, and access to testing would help us do so."

About the Author

Stefanie Valentic

Stefanie Valentic was formerly managing editor of EHS Today, and is currently editorial director of Waste360.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!