Addressing Discrimination Based on Fear of Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of our lives, but your human rights have not changed. No one should be denied employment, medical care, or access to public spaces based on a belief that the person has COVID-19.

Pinellas County offers resources for anyone who has experienced discrimination.

Know the Facts

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is caused by coronavirus and can spread from person to person. It has been reported that the virus is spread through coughs or sneezes between people who are within six feet of one another.

Although there may be fears attributed to this disease, it is illegal to discriminate against any person based upon fear of COVID-19:

  • No one should be denied employment or access to places that are open to the public based on their race, ethnicity, where they were born or any perceived disability. This includes a belief or suspicion that the person has COVID-19. 
  • No one should be denied medical care or be denied assistance from health care providers based on their race, ethnicity, where they were born or any perceived disability. Providers and emergency departments must provide appropriate medical care regardless of whether they believe a person has COVID-19.

Need Help?

If you have experienced discrimination for any reason—including reasons related to COVID-19—and want to file a complaint, contact the Pinellas County Office of Human Rights online or by calling (727) 464-4880. The Pinellas County Office of Human Rights is mandated to enforce anti-discrimination and civil rights laws for Pinellas County.

Questions?

For questions about COVID-19, updates and safety tips, explore resources available through the CDC or the Florida Department of Health. You can also call the local office of the state health department at (727) 824-6900.