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Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to warn New Yorkers on Wednesday to remain cautious as a variant of the coronavirus first found in the United Kingdom has continued to spread in the state. But at the same time, the state is moving forward with an easing of COVID-19 orange and yellow zone restrictions after a holiday season spike has appeared to subside.

And as restrictions are being eased, a coalition of labor unions is calling for essential workers to be given strengthened protections while on the job.

"Many of the farmworkers are exposed," said Maritza Silva-Farrell of the group NY Align. "There are many cases in which they don't have PPE, they don't have the necessary equipment to do their jobs."

Silva-Farrell is calling for the passage of the Heroes Act, which is meant to bolster safe working conditions during the pandemic.

"Those guidelines leave workers vulnerable to COVID-19 infections and businesses vulnerable to shutdown caused by COVID-19 outbreaks," she said.

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