Local 338 members provide essential services to the public and are vital to ensuring our communities get through this difficult time. We appreciate and value all of you for your hard work, patience and dedication to the customers and individuals you serve. Please know that during this time we are working with all of your employers and leaders in State and local government to ensure you and your families have the support you need for as long as we face this crisis.

Below are some useful tips about COVID-19 and how to stay healthy, as well as some resources and information specifically for Local 338 members. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to speak to your Union Representative by calling 516-294-1338 ext. 1775 or by sending a direct message through your My Local 338 account by visiting mylocal338.org or the Local 338 app.

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to support our communities during this crisis. We hope you and your family stay well.

Tips for Staying Healthy

• Always wear a mask when you’re out in public. While at work, your employer should be providing you with PPE. If they’re not, please contact your Union Representative. (You should also wear a mask, bandana or other facing when you’re in public generally.)
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as often as possible, but especially after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. (A helpful tip to know you’re washing your hands for the right amount of time is to sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself. It’s exactly 20 seconds!)
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Also avoid sharing drinks, food, or eating utensils. Frequently clean objects and surfaces you touch often.
• Frequently clean objects and surfaces you often touch.
• If you’re not feeling well, stay home and speak to your doctor. Your union contract includes paid time off (PTO), so we encourage you to use them if you’re ill or feeling under the weather (Please continue to follow your employer’s policies around taking your paid time off).

COVID-19 Testing for Essential Workers

New York State 

To get screened for testing, please call the COVID-19 hotline at 888-364-3065 or visit: covid19screening.health.ny.gov

For more information about testing for essential workers, click here

New York City  

Essential employees who would like to schedule an appointment text “COVID TEST” to 855-48 or visit nyc.gov/covidtest.

New Jersey

Information on locations to get tested can be found by visiting: covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing 

Getting the COVID-19 Vaccination

Local 338 recommends and urges our members to receive the COVID-19 vaccination when you become eligible to receive it. Currently, there are multiple safe vaccines used to inoculate individuals to prevent COVID-19 infection and symptoms. New York State has released a series of guidelines for essential workers to accurately anticipate when the vaccine will become available for you. 

According to the vast majority of reliable, trusted and highly educated medical professionals, doctors, nurses, scientists, elected officials and State/Federal Health Department officials, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and should be trusted. Potential Side-Effects include, mild flu-like symptoms, mild soreness at injection site. Please note that extreme allergic reactions to the vaccine are extremely rare. (To compare, the seasonal flu shot is more likely to produce an allergic reaction than the COVID-19 vaccine.)
Please note that the vaccine is two-doses and has to be given in two different visits. 

 We know that there are many questions, as well as common misconceptions about the vaccine. To learn more about it and why it’s safe for you to take, visit:  

For more information about your eligibility to receive the vaccine and to schedule an appointment when you are eligible, visit the links below:

New York State: covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

New York City:

New Jersey: covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine

Guidance for Local 338 Members

• If you are sent home by your employer, not allowed to work, or your store is closed due to a quarantine, you must be paid for the time.
• If you’re sick or not feeling well, please use the paid time off that your union contract guarantees.
• Congress and New York State have also both passed laws requiring up to two weeks of paid emergency for eligible workers who have contracted COVID-19 or are under a mandatory quarantine. For more information, please speak to your Union Representative.
• Local 338 members might also be eligible for the New York’s Paid Family Leave, depending on certain qualifying requirements. Speak to your Union Representative for more information. 
• If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, please contact your local NYS Health Department office and request a “Precautionary Quarantine Order”. This can be used to support your claims.
• If you are laid off, please file for unemployment insurance. New York State has waived the 7-day waiting period for anyone who experiences a lay off or loss of work due to COVID-19. For more information and to start a claim, visit: https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm
• Please refer to NYS Attorney General guidance regarding laws to protect workers during the pandemic: https://ag.ny.gov/coronavirus#ep

Health Benefits for Local 338 Members

Guardian Nurses

During this unprecedented time, Guardian Nurses will now be available to assist part-time Local 338 members (previously only available for eligible full-timers) with questions or concerns regarding COVID-19. They will provide support and coordinate care for Local 338 members, such as, locating testing sites for COVID-19. Andrea can be reached at 484-684-0039. 


Members of Local 338 who are enrolled in the Health & Welfare Fund can utilize Teladoc, a telemedicine benefit. With Teladoc, you have access to quality physicians in the palm of your hands—you can speak with an ER or urgent care doctor through your smartphone, tablet or computer. They’re available to you 24 hours a day, almost immediately, and at no cost to you. (There is no copay for using Teladoc). The doctor you speak with can diagnose your condition and, if necessary, prescribe medication to be picked up at your local pharmacy immediately.

To access the service, simply:
1- Download the Teladoc app in the app store on your phone or visit Teladoc.com (You will be required to complete a brief medical history)
2- When you need to see a doctor for a consultation, log into your account and click “Request a Consult.”

*You can also call Teladoc directly at 800-Teladoc (835-2362)*

Workers Compensation

If you are an essential worker and become symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19, we encourage you to submit a workers’ compensation claim. Please notify both your employer (within 30 days) and your Union Representative if you test positive or presumed to be positive.

We also recommend that you speak to a Workers Compensation attorney at Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada who can help you navigate through the process. They can be reached at: 800-416-5454 or 516-496-0400.

To file a Workers Compensation claim: www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/Workers/Workers.jsp   

Local 338 Member Assistance Program & Other Mental Health Support

If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, the Local 338 Member Assistance Program is available to you. Our MAP Director Jennifer Lipack can provide counseling and referrals to mental health services. All calls are confidential. MAP can be reached at 516-294-1338 ext. 1304.

There are number of other emotional and mental health counseling and support available to essential workers:

New York State Emotional Support Hotline: 844-863-9314

The hotline is staffed 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week. In both English and Spanish with other translation services available.

COVID Care Network: nyccovidcare.org/request

A volunteer network of 1500+ mental health professionals, life coaches, spiritual care providers, organizers, and crisis line operators ready to offer free support to essential workers in this time of incredible need. This is open to all essential workers, including outside of New York City.

Headspace:  headspace.com/ny

New York State has partnered with this popular meditation app to provide some of their content to New Yorkers to help ease anxiety and stress.

Childcare Resources

Learning Bridges – New York City  

New York City has opened up a new childcare program for Local 338 members living in New York City who have children and are working in grocery stores, pharmacies, and healthcare. Learning Bridges is a new program that provides free childcare options for children from 3-K through 8th grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. For more information and to apply, click here

CCCW First Responders and Essential Workers Child Care Scholarship Program - Westchester County

The Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc. has established a scholarship fund for first responders and essential workers who live in Westchester County. To be eligible, gross household income must be under 85% of NYS’s Median Income (SMI), one parent must be a first responder or an essential worker, and children must be enrolled in an OCFS licensed or registered childcare program in Westchester County. Parents must also submit a complete application for the Child Care Subsidy to DSS within the first 30 days of applying for this scholarship. Below is a chart that provides gross household income eligibility based on family size:

Family Size Gross Income:
2 - $55,453
3 - $65,501
4 - $81,549
5 - $94,597
6 - $107,645

To download the scholarship application, click here.

For more information on this scholarship, please contact the Child Care Council of Westchester at (914) 761-3456.