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The UIC MinER Center cautions those living with pre-existing conditions, such as black lung, to take necessary precautions to avoid infection of coronavirus or COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Heading link

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Social Distancing Heading link

This novel coronavirus is highly contagious and in the absence of a vaccine, our best way to slow the spread of this epidemic is by practicing social distancing. This means minimizing in-person social contact with others and maintaining at least 6 feet between yourself and others if you are in public. Doing this reduces your chance of being infected by the coronavirus, but also keeps you from unknowingly infecting others. All of this is necessary to flatten the curve, or slow the rate of infection, which will keep our hospitals from becoming completely overwhelmed.

Kirsten Staggs Almberg, MS, PhD  |  Senior Epidemiologist at the MinER Center

COVID-19 Vaccines

Stay Informed Heading link

In the News Heading link

March 23rd, 2020. Those with black lung disease among most vulnerable for having complications from COVID-19. According to the CDC, in West Virginia one in five coal miners who worked in mines for at least 25 years have black lung.

Letter to MSHA Heading link

Letter from the National Coalition of Black Lung and Respiratory Disease Clinics to MSHA stating their support with the UMWA’s letter in implementing necessary precautions to protect miners from COVID-19 in the workplace.

The UMWA’s letter can be found here.

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Letter from NIOSH Heading link

Letter from NIOSH’ Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program stating its recommendation to defer further spirometry testing due to COVID-19 transmission. NIOSH also recommends that clinic staff get vaccinated to minimize risk of COVID-19.

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MinER Center Fact Sheets Heading link