A Manhattan Democrat wants New York to figure out how much so-called “long COVID” is dragging down workers across the Empire State, per legislation introduced Friday.
“It’s incumbent on government to get a handle on how many workers aren’t back because of long COVID and the cost to the state of these absences and also how we can protect them and provide for these employees moving forward,” state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) told The Post.
The coronavirus can cause a range of long-term symptoms such as chronic fatigue, sleeping problems, heart trouble, shortness of breath and a brain fog that makes mental tasks difficult, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
An August study by the Brookings Institute found roughly 16 million American adults suffer from such the affliction, with somewhere around $170 billion in lost wages among the millions among them missing work.
Hoylman said the matter was personal for him after his own recovery from COVID-19.
“I know friends and family members who are suffering from long COVID who’ve had difficulty returning to work and had their life interrupted while the rest of us recovered,” Hoylman said.
He added that he aims to pass the legislation, which currently lacks a sponsor in the Assembly, once state lawmakers return to Albany next month for their regularly-scheduled session.
If the bill ever gets signed into law, the state Department of Labor would have one year to prepare a report on the scope of the problem and potential solutions, according to the legislative language.
“It’s about getting back on your feet and government taking a role in making that happen,” Hoylman said of the relief the bill might bring to people suffering from long COVID.