CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) EQUITY STATEMENT

The County of Los Angeles (County) recognizes the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first identified in Wuhan, China and, as of January 30, 2020, was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). There have been over 100,000 cases of COVID-19 confirmed worldwide. It is important to keep in mind that COVID-19 is not tied to one particular group of individuals, and at this point, has affected many ethnicities, races, and nationalities.

Diseases, such as COVID-19, do not target a specific ethnic or racial group.  COVID-19 is a new infectious disease presenting across the world and we recognize that people may be anxious, fearful and worried about the spread of this virus.  A lack of knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 and the need to blame someone can lead to social stigma towards a specific group of people based on their nationality or ethnicity, or towards people who were in quarantine.

In order to prevent social stigma towards a specific group of people, employees are encouraged to educate themselves using the available resources from the Department of Public Health (DPH) and CDC websites.  Employees are also encouraged to support others by learning and sharing the facts about COVID-19 rather than engaging in gossip, rumors or myths.

As an employer, the County expects its employees to treat others, including co-workers and members of the public, with dignity, respect and professionalism as the County Policy of Equity (CPOE) states.   Employee conduct is expected to be in accordance with the CPOE and applicable local, county, state, and federal laws.

EQUITY BEST PRACTICES

The County would like to remind all employees of some equity best practices in the workplace:

  • Avoid explicit and implicit biases towards others; for example:
    • Do not make assumptions based on a person’s ethnicity, race, and/or nationality;
    • Do not make assumptions that a person has been exposed to COVID-19 based on ethnicity, race, and/or nationality;
    • Do not be fearful of a person because of the person’s ethnicity, race, and/or nationality;
  • Do not assume a person has COVID-19 because they are wearing a mask;
  • Do not assume an employee has COVID-19 because they are sick, on a leave of absence or are working from home;
  • Educate yourself by getting the facts about COVID-19 from a reliable source, such as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health website http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus; and
  • Speak up when you hear false rumors or negative stereotypes that foster biases and potential racism.

 

COUNTY OPERATIONS

The County is taking active steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of our employees, their families, and all County constituents.  The County will continue to operate under the guidance outlined by DPH, CDC and WHO.  Decisions, actions, and plans will be taken for the betterment of all County employees with full consideration of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the CPOE.