Making sure you and those you love are vaccinated is the best way to protect against severe COVID-19 infections, stop the development of new variants, and return our society to normal. Visit our vaccine resources page for more information; review the most recent update–concerning ‘booster’ shots, vaccines for children, and travel restrictions–here.
On March 11, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The disease is caused by a novel coronavirus that first emerged in December 2019. Nearly two years later, the pandemic continues to have a profound effect on people around the world as healthcare systems fight to tend to high numbers of patients, and communities work to slow the spread of the disease through vaccinations, masking, social and physical distancing, and other measures.
Though the Sikh Coalition is not a public health organization, we recognize that we must all support each other during this time by sharing resources and best practices in order to support the most vulnerable in our community. Please see some of the content that we have collected below, and feel free to share it widely among your sangat. Use the below quick links to access our content, or scroll down for more information:
In addition to our resources, we urge you to continue to consult the CDC website, your state government’s public health information, the Sikh Family Center, and the North American Sikh Medical and Dental Association.
“Social distancing” is an epidemiological term that means taking simple steps to reduce close contact between people. You can see our original explanation of social distancing here, our updated guidelines (in both English and Punjabi) as states move towards a gradual reopening here. Additionally, please view our webinar featuring public health experts and gurdwara leaders for best practices on keeping your gurdwara safe.
Many countries have changed their entry and exit policies throughout the pandemic. You can find the most up to date information about the Biden Administration’s policies around travel and vaccines here.
If you seek medical attention for COVID-19 or other reasons, we have created a resource for you to share with your healthcare provider. This guide includes culturally relevant information about Sikhi that may affect your treatment, including explanations of the Sikh articles of faith, language access needs, dietary restraints, end-of-life procedures, and more.
On these pages, learn how various relief legislation passed by the U.S. government may affect you, your family, your access to medical care, your finances, and your place of business:
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Read more about this relief package, passed March 18, 2020, in English and Punjabi.
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: Read more about this relief package, passed March 27, 2020, in English and Punjabi.
- Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: Read more about this law, passed December 27, 2020, establishing funding of $900 billion in stimulus relief in English and Punjabi.
- Additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) originally established by the CARES Act: Read more about this funding, passed April 24, 2020, in English and Punjabi; read more about how your small business or nonprofit (including your gurdwara) can apply for these loans in English.
- The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA): Read more about this law, passed June 5, 2020, in English, which modifies the terms of the PPP originally established by the CARES Act.
- New funding opportunity for small businesses and nonprofits (including gurdwaras) under the PPP: On February 22, President Biden announced changes to the PPP that will open up new funding, for a limited time, for minority-owned small businesses and gurdwaras; read more about this update in English.
- The American Rescue Plan: Read more about this relief package, passed on March 11, 2021, in English and Punjabi.
In addition to federal relief, all 50 U.S. states have unique policies with regard to unemployment, Medicaid, and welfare programs. On this page, read more about seeking state benefits, and access our list of guidelines for each states’ aid programs.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has produced several documents regarding employee rights in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sikh Coalition has summarized this guidance in both English and Punjabi.
As school policies remain different across the country, it is important to consider how best to keep Khalsa Schools and childcare facilities safe. On this page, learn about the CDC’s latest guidance and read more additional context.
On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, we launched the Sikh Coalition Kid’s Corner. This virtual learning program brings Sikh students and their classmates from across the country together to stimulate learning through diverse literature, music, and art. Click here to watch recordings of our different Kid’s Corner sessions!
Sikh parents must be aware of the risks of bullying online. On this page, you can read guidelines for countering cyberbullying on a range of social media platforms, and review steps to take if your child is subjected to harassment online.
Across the country, sangats have been stepping up to help their neighbors in need through a wide range of seva projects. To support these community-led efforts, the Sikh Coalition has driven local and national media attention to this good work and successfully pitched more than 40 seva-related TV clips and print articles. View summaries of these incredible projects and some of that media coverage here, here, and here.
COVID-19 is causing questions and concerns about issues related to U.S. immigration and citizenship processes. Additionally, on April 22, 2020, then-President Trump issued an executive order that limited legal immigration into the United States for 60 days and effectively paused the issuance of green cards during for the same period. Read our FAQ about this executive order and other immigration and citizenship questions, and watch Punjabi-language videos regarding the executive order and more general topics.
Different respirators, test fit requirements, and hospital policies are raising some questions. On this page, Sikh healthcare professionals can read about how the Sikh Coalition’s legal team can help protect their right to maintain their articles of faith while ensuring personal and patient safety.
Those in the transportation industry–including taxi and rideshare (e.g. Uber or Lyft) drivers as well as truckers–face unique challenges and increased exposure to COVID-19. On this page, read best practices from a range of organizations about how to mitigate these risks. Additionally, there are emergency relief options specifically for Taxi and rideshare drivers in New York City available here.
The Sikh Coalition will continue to stand against bias, bigotry, and discrimination–whether or not it has to do with COVID-19. Click this link to contact our team of qualified lawyers for free legal assistance.
In addition to our state-by-state guide to each state’s unemployment, Medicaid, and welfare programs, the Sikh Coalition has put together more detailed summaries of particular states’ policies, programs, and benefits with respect to COVID-19. Click the state name below to learn more.
- New York: Rent Relief, Testing Sites, Free Meals in NYC, Unemployment Benefits, Small Business Relief, Relief for Taxi/Rideshare Drivers, Hotel Rooms for Self-Isolation, Blood and Plasma Donations
- New Jersey: Testing Sites, Unemployment Benefits, Small Business Relief, Relief for Taxi/Rideshare Drivers, Food Assistance, Volunteering Opportunities
- Texas: Special information for how Texas sevadaars can help address issues of food security in their communities.
- Pennsylvania: Governor Wolf offered grants up to $50,000 to qualified small businesses affected by COVID-19; the deadline for the first round of applications has now passed.
Click below to download and print informational resources about COVID-19 for your gurdwara, workplace, taxi, or another place. These resources are compiled from the CDC and the North American Sikh Medical and Dental Association, with several Punjabi translations from the Sikh Religious Society of Palatine, IL.