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Sen. Warner pushing for protections for workers hurt by pandemic's fallout

Just 26 percent of workers enjoy traditional unemployment benefits, and the rest will be needing help in the days ahead.

WASHINGTON — The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, would provide free COVID-19 testing, establish paid sick leave, increase unemployment aid, and ensure Medicaid benefits.

But, Virginia Senator Mark Warner says more help is needed, and any economic relief package must be focused on helping working Americans and families who will be most harmed by the coronavirus outbreak.

"We shouldn't have people thrown out of their home if they can't meet rent or mortgage payments," he said. "The same for businesses. I hope we can see action literally any day this week."

Despite the many hardships, Warner remained upbeat.

"I think this is a time we all have to rely on each other as neighbors, as friends, as fellow Virginians, as fellow Americans to get through this," he said. "We will get through this."

On another note, 13News Now has received e-mails from concerned Hampton Roads residents who are worried about the 14,000 workers at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard working in close confines.

The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington State is currently monitoring 14 potential cases of COVID-19. Four other cases there have come back negative.

Warner acknowledged it's a problem.

"In terms of whether we're talking about a hospital or whether we're talking about a shipyard where the work needs to continue, my hope is that the individual management of those facilities will, as much as feasibly possible, try to provide that level of distancing," he said.

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