Press Release

AFT’s Weingarten on the CDC’s Modification of COVID-19 Guidelines in Healthcare Settings

For Release:


Alexis Lopez

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s modification of COVID-19 guidelines for healthcare settings:

“Throughout the pandemic, our nation’s healthcare heroes have put their lives on the line—to care for patients, comfort families and save lives, often with inadequate safety protections and crippling workloads, at the hands of a hospital industry that has repeatedly placed the fundamental health and safety of the nurses, techs and doctors in jeopardy.

“This decision to weaken healthcare safety protocols—particularly at the beginning of colder weather when experts are predicting an increase in COVID-19 cases and a severe flu season—puts these frontline workers further at risk, and will drive more nurses and healthcare professionals out of a field that’s already facing crippling shortages.

“Our hardworking healthcare professionals deserve basic workplace safety protocols in healthcare facilities that are, by nature, ripe for disease transmission. We cannot leave these decisions to hospital managers, who are notorious for ignoring health and safety in the service of profit margins. We had hoped the CDC and other government agencies would step in and provide stronger, more permanent protections for these workers, instead of relaxing safety protocols.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.