ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Activists gathered at the New York State Capitol on Monday to call for improved access to healthcare. Low-wage workers and faith leaders participated in the nationwide Poor People’s Campaign week of action this week.

They said low-wage workers died at two to three times the rate of the rest of the population during the pandemic, and they believe some of the deaths could have been prevented with better policies.

“We lament and we mourn the mothers who never came back home,” Rev. Dr. Mashona Alston, of First Church Albany, said. “The fathers who went to work to do the work that nobody else would do during the pandemic, and lost their lives.”

Similar demonstrations are also taking place in Vermont and several other states this week. Advocates are also calling for eviction protections.