Jacksonville, Florida – People with the ongoing effects of COVID-19 could be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The news came with President Biden’s announcement at the White House Monday on the ADA’s 31st anniversary.
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Rebecca Williams of the Southeast ADA Center says that if you have difficulty breathing, or have chronic pain, fatigue, and brain fog, these are all conditions that make your job difficult.
“We’re bringing agencies together to ensure that Americans with long-standing COVID who have a disability have access to rights and resources under the Disability Act,” Biden said.
The President wants Americans suffering from the long-term effects of COVID to have legal rights and resources. This includes services and accommodation at work and at school, as well as protection against employment and housing discrimination.
Williams warns that not everyone could be protected. She says you won’t get ADA protection if you’ve had COVID or are even just a long distance driver. You still have to meet certain criteria:
“A person with a physical or mental impairment that severely restricts one or more important life activities, some of these symptoms of long-haul COVID can certainly escalate to the point of disability,” Williams said.
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She says the Southeast ADA Center has seen a surge in people seeking protection – mostly from teachers, who are typically more exposed to COVID than others, and from people with health conditions who put them at higher risk.
“We see a lot of calls asking people to continue working from home as accommodation,” added Williams.
She anticipates more people will apply for ADA protection as cases continue to increase.
Baptist Health announced that it is now posting daily COVID-19 patient counts on Twitter to follow the spread of the virus. The hospital shared a link to its COVID information center, which can be found here: https://www.baptistjax.com/services/covid19
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