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Hope Gilmore, a call center worker on Staten Island, New York, hasn't forgotten those bewildering early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic when colleagues were getting sick, her employer didn't provide any masks or gloves and people used the elevator one at a time to socially distance.

"We're on the frontlines like sacrificial lambs," Gilmore said Thursday.

The need for a government-backed order or legislation in the thick of the pandemic is necessary, given the impact the coronavirus has already had on places like meatpacking plants and farms, where low-wage, immigrant and Black and brown workers are most at risk of falling ill, said Daisy Chung, the deputy director of ALIGN, an alliance of labor and community organizations in New York.

"The virus hasn't disappeared. This is going to be with us for a while, and the fear and anxiety hasn't gone away," Chung said. "For us, it's never too late to implement something."