The coronavirus pandemic has created the urgency for federal and state mandated paid sick leave for all employees. Many employees will avoid getting check-ups or avoid staying home as this may mean missing 2 weeks of work and being unable to pay their bills. In the 21st century, staying home and being responsible should not lead to financial ruin and bankruptcy. Tens of thousands of Utahns lack either health insurance or paid sick leave or both, increasing the likelihood that the virus will spread as many go undiagnosed and continue to work out of necessity.
It's time for our state and federal legislators to take the coronavirus risk seriously and provide meaningful respite to the hundreds if not thousands of Utahns at risk of being infected. Pandemic preparedness is not a partisan issue, it is a human rights issue and should be treated as such. Paid sick leave should be implemented immediately as part of a special session of Congress. Thousands of lives hang in the balance.