Additional General Assembly updates
HB 2333 and SB 1145 both passed the General Assembly and are awaiting the Governor’s Signature. These bills provide a less cumbersome way for healthcare providers to volunteer than through the normal Medical Reserve Corps so long as they meet specific training requirements related to the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. The bills will go into effect upon the Governor’s signature because of the emergency clause.
HB 1985 establishes a presumption that COVID-19 causing the death or disability of health care providers is an occupational disease compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act. The bill passed the House of Delegates and carried over to the special session. It is currently waiting to be docketed by the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.
The Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee has released its budget, which includes funding for the Virginia Preceptor Incentive Program. We are waiting for the House Appropriations Committee to release its budget to determine if funding is included. This program, administered by the Virginia Department of Health, offers financial incentive for any Virginia licensed physician, physician's assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse who, in conjunction with a licensed and accredited Virginia public or private not-for-profit school of nursing, provides a clinical education rotation of 250 hours.
COVID-19 Workplace Regulations
Earlier this year, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board voted to adopt Governor Northam’s workplace safety regulations concerning COVID-19. On January 27, the regulations went into effect and will be in effect at least until the state of emergency ends. Virginia is the first state to implement COVID-19 workplace safety regulations.