A California county approves plan to pay people $1,250 if diagnosed with virus
CALIFORNIA – Alameda County has approved a pilot program that seeks to pay residents who test positive for coronavirus a stipend of $1,250 to stay home. Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors set aside $10 million for the program, allowing officials to pay up to 7,500 residents, according to the report.
That is a considerable amount of money to dole out since we are experiencing severe budget shortfalls caused by the economic fallout due to the state’s bungled and heavy handed response to the virus.
County officials said the decision came after many residents were concerned how they would pay for food, rent or bills if they tested positive and could not work.
There are a few restrictions on receiving the cash payment. It will only go to those not already receiving unemployment payments or sick pay from work. So I am not sure who this program might actually affect.
Many employers are already offering sick pay for anyone who tests positive for the virus or even just came into contact with anyone who had it. You can also get paid-time off if you have to take care of someone who has the virus.
So that is why I am kind of scratching my head at this plan. I don’t know of any employers that are not paying some kind of sick pay and many people who are working part-time are already on unemployment. This just kind of feels like if they are financially incentivizing for people to catch the virus.
I want people who are out of work to get help, but this program just sounds kind of sketchy when we are already pumping a lot of money to extend sick pay and unemployment payments.