New Jersey has recorded more than 130,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and 8,500 virus-related deaths, but healthcare workers like Awol Alhassan, a human services technician at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital, are still working in close quarters with coronavirus patients and without adequate personal protective gear.

“We have been constantly pressuring the state to prioritize the health and safety of our members and the patients,” AFSCME New Jersey Executive Director Steve Tully said. “We have been demanding that they implement appropriate screening procedures and supply the PPE that our members need.”

As supplies are rapidly depleted and public service employees like Awol face contagious conditions and burn out, congressional aid for municipalities is vital to the health and well being of the workers who are saddled with managing frontline virus response in their communities.

Read more about how state aid is necessary to support frontline workers and services in New Jersey and other states across the country here.