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Coronavirus US: LA considers PAYING infected to stay at home

The Los Angeles City Council will determine whether to pay residents who have tested positive with COVID-19 so they can stay at home. 

Councilman David Ryu introduced a motion on Wednesday that would set aside $25million for a ‘wage replacement program’ for any Los Angeles resident. 

The program even extends to undocumented immigrants and those who have criminal records, KCAL reports. It also does not discriminate based off income. 

However, those wishing to partake in the program have to agree to self-isolate and provide public health information to Los Angeles County contact tracers, the councilman explained. 

As of Thursday, some 185,872 people have tested positive for the virus while 4,552 have died.

Ryu cited data showing that communities of color, low-income communities and immigrants are more likely to be infected with the virus and suffer higher mortality rate. 

People from these communities are more often going to be working in essential jobs that can’t operate from home, Ryu added.  

‘The only way out of this crisis is through increased testing and staying home if you’re sick,’ Ryu said. ‘If we want to bend the curve, we need to make it possible for everyone to stay home when they’re sick – no matter their income or immigration status.’

Also on Wednesday, Council President Nury Martinez asked for a report on a plan to provide up to $50million in direct paycheck assistance to help low-income families get by. 

The ‘Right to Recover’ motion would aim to assists working-poor Latinos in San Francisco’s Mission District in paying them to stay home if they came down with the virus. 

‘While Latinos are dying at twice the rate of White Angelenos in L.A. County from COVID-19, many of the safeguards meant to assist, including Federal Relief, are not reaching poor, immigrant Latinos and others, who often work as essential workers or simply do not have medical insurance or Paid Leave and cannot afford to stay home,’ said Martinez.

While the CARES Act does exclude undocumented immigrants, Martinez’s proposal would work to pull the funds from the Trump-signed law.  

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