Health care workers say it’s getting harder to get paid time off for COVID

As a part-time nurse at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Megan Murphy has twice been forced to take a leave from work this summer while waiting to get tested for COVID-19.

On both occasions, Murphy had good reason to believe she’d been exposed to the virus and stayed home, as required by hospital policies, to limit spread of the disease. Each time, it took four to five days to line up an appointment and get the results.

Both tests came back negative. But a snafu delayed the results of Murphy’s first test and left her without enough paid time off to cover her second leave. As a result, she lost two days’ pay and has no sick time left.

“I’m still going to be honest” in disclosing future exposures, she said. “But my concern is, what happens when people can’t afford to have two days unpaid, and they no

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Liberty and food justice for all: The pursuit of food equity has never been more important – but it’s also never been harder – Entertainment & Life – telegram.com

TIt’s easy to see how the pandemic has changed our outward lives. In Worcester — offices are closed, schools are closed, and no school buses. The number of people struggling with losing jobs and food insecurity? Those are harder to see.

Food insecurity is traditionally cast as a Third World or “poor people” problem by those not experiencing it, but is a manifold problem fed by systemic conditions such as poverty, income inequity, healthcare inequity, systemic racism and homelessness. Food insecurity doesn’t mean there’s no food at all, but may be no healthy options, leading to a rise in obesity; all poor people are not food insecure, and not all food insecure people are poor.

The pandemic acted as a force multiplier for these challenges. Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, projects for Worcester County an overall food insecurity rate of 13.1% and a child food insecurity rate

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