MISSOURI ( KMOV.com) -- Essential workers across the globe are working the frontlines to help and serve their community during the pandemic.

Now, a new proposed bill will help protect them.

People who intentially cough, sneeze or spit on an essential worker could face a fine and even jail time. The bill defines essential workers as anyone from grocerty store workers, emergency responders, healthcare workers and other frontline heroes.

Under St. Louis City's proposed bill, the person in violation could face a fine up to $500 and could be behind bars for no more than 90 days.

READ: Warrenton man arrested after licking items at Walmart on video | 'Who's scared of the coronavirus?'

Early April, a Cuba, Mo. man was arrested after coughing on shoppers inside a store and writing "COVID" inside a cooler door. 

The store was forced to shut down and sanitized. He was charged with making a terroristic threat.

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