The federal government is preparing for a potentially devastating winter storm, warning that tens of thousands of workers are at risk of contracting a virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that it has issued an advisory that warned workers to wear masks, wash their hands often and avoid drinking alcohol or tobacco.
The agency said it is also urging people to wear face shields and goggles when they are outdoors, as well as limiting the time they spend outdoors.
The storm is expected to bring rain and snow, heavy winds and freezing temperatures to parts of the Deep South.
FEMA’s Division of Health and Human Services said Thursday the virus has been detected in three workers who contracted the coronavirus while working at a large auto parts plant in Georgia.
The CDC said there have been other cases of the virus in workers in Louisiana, Tennessee and Florida.
The Atlanta-based CDC said that while workers who are exposed to the virus are at higher risk of developing respiratory illness, there has been no confirmed case of death in the U.S. The state of Georgia reported the first confirmed case in late October.
The CDC said it has received more than 2,700 calls related to the coronovirus and said the number is expected continue to rise.
The virus has also been detected by health care workers in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday to provide funds for public health emergencies.
Trump on Thursday called on Congress to pass a federal budget for the coming fiscal year that includes funding for the states and territories to help fund health services and clean up the nation’s roads, bridges and sewers.
“We need a budget that invests in our public health system, not just in the military, but also in public education, the public hospitals, the community health centers, the fire stations, the police departments,” Trump said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“And I want us to do it in a way that’s really good for the American people.
We’re going to get this done.
But we have to make sure we do it right, and we have a lot of work to do.
We have to get it done.”