The council intends to slow rates of transmission by incentivizing those that test positive to stay home.
The Los Angeles City Council is weighing up a proposal where anyone who tests positive and commits to staying home will receive two weeks of pay. Currently, workers that test positive for COVI-19 are told to stay home but it inevitably involves sacrificing pay or a job. The motion was introduced by councilmember David Ryu with the intention of slowing infection rates down by giving employees the comfort of knowing they’re not choosing between public health and their own livelihood.
Angelenos would have access to the $25 million wage replacement program, regardless of immigration status, housing status or criminal record. It is also aimed at encouraging more testing which will provide more data to the L.A. health department and aid in better decision-making.
“The only way out of this crisis is through increased testing and staying home if you’re sick,” Councilmember Ryu said in a statement. “But you can’t do that if you can’t afford to lose a paycheck or you can’t receive federal aid. Too many Angelenos are being forced into an impossible choice. If we want to bend the curve, we need to make it possible for everyone to stay home when they’re sick – no matter their income or immigration status.”
To receive aid, individuals would have to agree to self-isolate and provide information to contact tracers.
According to the data, communities of color, low-income communities and immigrants are more likely to become infected with COVID-19 and suffer from more adverse effects or die. They are also more likely to be essential workers that are required to engage in face-to-face interactions with the public.
The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), excludes undocumented immigrants from receiving aid.
Councilmember Ryu also introduced a resolution urging Congress to extend the CARES Act’s $600 per week emergency unemployment benefit.
Featured Image: Ewien van Bergeijk – Kwant via Unsplash