Linda Romeo’s asthma gets bad enough to require hospitalization. Combined with her hypertension, she is at increased risk of COVID. The poor air quality in Linda Romeo’s office in Watervliet triggers her asthma and she has no doubt the office is poorly equipped to filter the virus.

“COVID is aerosolized and the new variants are highly contagious especially for someone with my health concerns,” Romeo said.

She then related two stories of increased danger at her worksite – an unmasked woman in the bathroom who said she was vaccinated but she had COVID and a man suffering a seizure who was fighting back against her as she rendered aid as an RN.

“I’m beyond frustrated,” Romeo said. “I love my job, but don’t want to die for it. I feel that we stepped up and worked exceedingly hard while working at home. We met and exceeded NYSIF expectations in all aspects yet they won’t allow us the opportunity to protect our health and lives .”“If people want to go into the office, let them,” she added. “But if employees are productive, why not allow them to work from home?”