HARRISBURG – The Senate recently approved a measure that would require the state to notify local first responders of COVID-19 cases in their communities, according to State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33).
The proposal – Senate Bill 1110 – would augment transparency during a health pandemic.
As part of the legislation, the Department of Health would be responsible for releasing communicable disease information to 911 centers, police, fire departments, coroners and EMS personnel.
The information must be relayed within 24 hours of the Health Department receiving information of a confirmed case of a communicable disease.
“Our local emergency responders do not have enough personal protective equipment to use when responding to COVID 19 calls, so this legislation will help them prioritize and target the use of that equipment,” explained Mastriano. “First responders need to have accurate details so they can protect themselves in situations when they know they will be exposed to COVID-19, while performing their duties.”
The bill was amended prior to final passage, to require real-time reporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Pennsylvania’s nursing and personal care homes, as well as assisted living facilities.
More than 60 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Pennsylvania have occurred in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and personal care homes. Pennsylvania has approximately 700 nursing homes with more than 88,000 beds and more than 1,200 licensed personal care homes serving approximately 46,500 residents.
Senate Bill 1110 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. Additionally, Mastriano recently introduced legislation that would update the state’s Disease Prevention & Control Law of 1955.
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