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Utah lawmakers passed legislation Thursday that would create a rebuttable presumption for first responders who contract COVID-19 on the job.
H.B. 3007, sponsored by Republican Rep. Francis Gibson, unanimously passed the state’s House and passed the Senate in a 25-3 vote.
The bill amends the Utah Workers' Compensation Act to allow for the presumption that first responders performing their duties during the pandemic and test positive or are diagnosed with COVID-19 acquired the virus during the course and scope of their work. The presumption would apply for first responders working on or after March 21, 2020, and before June 1, 2020, with the date of accident presumed to be the date of diagnosis or the first day that the first responder is unable to work because of a symptom of the disease and later receives a positive diagnosis. Under the bill, death benefits are payable only if the claimant establishes by competent evidence that the death was a consequence or result of COVID-19.
Any first responder who refuses examination or diagnostic testing, if available, is not entitled to the presumption under the legislation.
The bill has not yet been transferred to Gov. Gary Herbert’s desk.
More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed into law Tuesday evening legislation to provide worker compensation for first responders who contract COVID-19 on the job.