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Alaska introduces presumption bill for comp, coronavirus

Posted On: Mar. 31, 2020 12:55 PM CST


Lawmakers in Alaska have fast-tracked a comprehensive coronavirus-related bill that would in part grant workers compensation benefits to first responders and health care providers presumably exposed to COVID-19.

S.B. 241, introduced on May 22 by the state Senate Rules Committee and sent to the governor’s office Saturday, covers a range of changes to state law as a follow-up to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s March 11 declaration of public health disaster emergency.

The latest draft of the bill states that “an employee who contracts the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is conclusively presumed to have contracted an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment (if the worker) is employed as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic, peace officer, or health care provider (and) is exposed to COVID-19 in the course of employment” and is diagnosed by a physician by way of either a “presumptive positive COVID-19 test result” or a “laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.” 

More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here