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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 1, 2020 09:27 AM
From: Senator Mike Regan
To: All Senate members
Subject: COVID-19 Protection for First Responders
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Heart & Lung Act and providing a crucial protection to our first responders in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

COVID-19 is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, COVID-19 symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and they may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. The COVID-19 virus is spread just like the flu or a cold -- through the air by coughing or sneezing; by close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; or by touching an object or surface with the virus on it.

Due to the risk of COVID-19 contamination and spread, many Americans have been displaced from work, are working remotely or are otherwise practicing “social distancing” in order to protect themselves and their neighbors. Police officers and firefighters do not have that luxury -- they continue to work and interact with the public 24/7 in order to protect the lives of all Pennsylvanians.  In recognition of their unique position on the front lines, I am introducing legislation that would amend the Heart & Lung Act by providing law enforcement and firefighters with their continued salary should they contract COVID-19 and are unable to work or ordered to quarantine. 

I hope that you will join me in supporting our first responders during this unprecedented time. If you have any questions, please contact Nate Silcox of my staff at nsilcox@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB1106