Subject Matter Hearing: Disproportionate Impact of Long Covid on Illinois’ Vulnerable Populations



Illinois Unidos recently collaborated with State Senator Karina Villa, chairperson of the Senate Public Health Committee to host a Subject Matter hearing on the Disproportionate Impact of Acute and Chronic Covid-19 on Illinois’ most vulnerable populations. The hearing took place on September 26,2023.

Illinois Unidos’ initial goal in calling for a hearing at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (Spring,2022) was to inform policymakers of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the state’s most vulnerable populations, particularly those working in essential, yet incredibly unsafe industries, including meat packing, warehousing and manufacturing plants.

Illinois Unidos led legislative efforts to provide safer workplace conditions in some of the most hazardous industries where working-poor communities of color are over-represented, receive low pay, poor benefits and many times lack healthcare coverage.

As we enter into a post-acute COVID-19 phase, we are beginning to understand how devastating Long-Covid is. The Office of the Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice created guidance explaining that Long Covid can be a disability under Titles II (state and local government) and III (public accommodations) of the Americans with Disparities Act., Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.Each of these federal laws protects people with disabilities from discrimination and
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