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9/25/20  8:46 pm
Commenter: Jennifer Webb City of Norfolk Utilities Engineering Technician I AFSCME VA

Support for Permanent VOSH Standards

My name is Jennifer Webb and I have been in the City of Norfolk Department of Utilities for seven (7) years and I am performing essential Frontlines work as an Engineering Technician I.
I am also a single mother of eight (8) school aged children, which I am the sole provider and protector.
I worry about the safety and health of my children.
My daughter who is 4 years old, is a COVID-19 survivor.
As a mother of children that have underlying health/ medical conditions, I worry at work every day that I will bring this virus home to my children.
I support the proposed VOSH permanent standard for infectious disease prevention for COVID-19.

The City of Norfolk is not properly notifying us when an employee has tested positive or has been exposed, or if we work within close proximity of a worker who has tested positive for COVID-19.
I am the bread winner in my household.
I honestly do not know what I would do if I contracted this dreaded virus. How would I be able to provide for my household? These are scary times!

Recently, I have had to split my time between transporting my kids back and forth to their doctor appointments and working ten (10) hours days, so this pandemic has brought about serious personal and professional challenges for me.
We also need access to PPE when we cannot properly stay physically distanced from our coworkers.
Right now, during the pandemic, we are riding four (4) and five (5) employees to a vehicle with no shields to protect and/or distance ourselves.
Other Norfolk Employees and I, with the support of Health and Safety experts from AFSCME District Council 20 and the AFSCME International have been advocating to improve VOSH Standards for some time and recently reached out to several City of Norfolk officials to meet and make suggestions to help further these efforts.

The City of Norfolk, on one occasion provided employees a pack of masks, but once they were no longer useable and out of stock, we were told we were on our own.
How could this happen?
The standard should include, at minimum a (daily; weekly; monthly; quarterly) mask distribution protocol and COVID-19 exposure log, as well as requirements for managing cases.
Please consider my advocacy for a permanent VOSH Standard to protect Front-Line Essential Workers in the City of Norfolk.

Thank you.

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CommentID: 86546