NYSNA applauds designation of COVID-19 as an Airborne Infectious Disease under New York State’s HERO Act

For Immediate Release: Sept. 7, 2021
Contact: Carl Ginsburg | press@nysna.org | 917-405-1060

New York City - The New York State Nurses Association today applauded Gov. Kathy Hochul and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker for designating COVID-19 a highly contagious communicable disease under the State’s HERO Act. The HERO Act requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans to prevent workplace infections. The NY HERO Act mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the law, all employers are required to adopt a workplace safety plan, and implement it for all airborne infectious diseases designated by the New York State Department of Health. Employers can adopt a model safety plan as crafted by the New York State Department of Labor, or develop their own safety plan in compliance with HERO Act standards.

’We have said all along that COVID-19 was a highly contagious airborne disease and that more needed to be done to keep workers safe,” said Nancy Hagans, president of NYSNA and RN. “To truly protect workers, we need more information on aerosol transmission of respiratory viruses. But to date, the conversation has focused on vaccines without a full accounting of other measures than influence transmission rates. In making this designation, the governor’s office and the health commissioner are clearing the way to providing what workers truly need; additional information.”


The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, visit nysna.org.


We are 42,000 nurses working together to win safe staffing, keep hospitals open for care, stop the Wall Street attack on our patients, and win healthcare for all.