The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), enacted on March 18, 2020, contains two weeks of COVID-19-related emergency sick leave coverage at full pay (up to a cap). A new study, released as a Fast Track Ahead Of Print article by Health Affairs, tests whether this provision reduced the spread of COVID-19. To determine whether this provision reduced the number of US COVID-19 cases, the authors reviewed publicly available data from March to May 2020, comparing changes in newly reported COVID-19 cases in states where workers had gained the right to take paid sick leave because of the FFCRA with cases in states where paid sick leave was already provided by previous sick leave mandates. The authors found that states where employees gained access to paid sick leave because of the FFCRA experienced a statistically significant decrease of approximately 400 fewer confirmed new cases per day relative both to the same states in the pre-FFCRA period and to the states that had already enacted sick pay mandates before the FFCRA. This estimate translates into roughly one prevented COVID-19 case per day per 1300 workers who gained the option to take up two weeks of paid sick leave through the FFCRA. Read More..