The new standard is the result of a request by Governor Ralph Northam to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. The Virginia Emergency Temporary Standard is being issued while the U.S. Senate and the Trump administration continue to refuse to take action to implement a similar standard on the federal level.
Following the adoption of the emergency temporary standard, the BlueGreen Alliance released a statement from its Vice President of Health Initiatives Charlotte Brody, who is a resident of Esmont, VA:
“While the U.S. Senate and Donald Trump continue to fail to act, Virginia has put forward an enforceable set of rules for workplaces that will make every Virginian safer—every poultry worker in Rockingham and Accomack Counties, every nurse in Fairfax and Wise Counties, and every other worker and all of their neighbors everywhere in the state.
“This is especially important as a way to lower the rate of infections for workers of color in Virginia—the women and men who are more likely to not be able to do their jobs from home. While 28% of Virginians are Black or Latinx, they are 63% of reported COVID-19 cases and 36% of COVID-19 deaths according to the COVID Tracking Project. The emergency standard that was approved today and the enforcement of the new standard will make it easier for all workers, including workers of color, to protect their health and the health of their families and their communities.”