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Frontline workers pressure Virginia lawmakers for COVID-19 benefits

They came together Monday to pressure the Senate to pass a bill

The bill is making its way through the General Assembly.
The bill is making its way through the General Assembly.

RICHMOND, Va. – Frontline workers are urging Virginia lawmakers to help them recover from the coronavirus.

Legislators, firefighters and health care workers came together Monday to pressure the Senate of Virginia to pass a bill with a retroactive COVID-19 workers’ compensation presumption.

If passed, House Bill 1985 would provide retroactive benefits for workers who contracted the virus on the job while treating or diagnosing COVID patients.

“Many of these heroes were left fighting for their own lives as a result, on ventilators and in ICUs all across the commonwealth,” said John Wright with the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters association. “They sacrificed their own health to help others. Now, these frontline workers are left with thousands of dollars in medical bills and many of them with lingering health effects.”

The House has already unanimously passed the bill, and the Senate passed a version limiting the coverage.

On Monday, the House rejected the Senate’s version.

Now, according to the bill’s sponsor, Del. Chris Hurt, the Senate will be asked if they insist on the amendment and if they vote yes, that brings about a conference committee, where three Senators and three Delegates will be chosen to work out differences and report a final version of the bill.

About the Author:

Jessica anchors 10 News on Saturdays and Sundays at 6 and 11 p.m. You can also catch her reporting during the week.