House approves Rep. Yaroch plan to protect lives of first responders during COVID-19 era

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The Michigan House has overwhelmingly approved a plan by state Rep. Jeff Yaroch, of Richmond, to help protect the lives of first responders who are at high risk of coming in contact with the coronavirus.

Yaroch’s House Bill 5704 protects emergency responders by requiring a hospital to notify them if a patient they transported has tested positive for COVID-19. The plan also allows first responders to request the testing of emergency patients they cared for under some circumstances. This bill adds COVID-19 to a process that already exists for HIV and HBV. Yaroch, a paramedic and former firefighter, said people who serve in an emergency capacity need to know when they have been exposed to the virus, so they can take steps to protect themselves and their families.

“The brave men and women on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 – including police, firefighters, EMS workers and others who are helping get patients to hospitals – deserve our thanks and support,” Yaroch said. “I am proud to introduce a measure that will inform and help protect our first responders. They put their lives on the line for us every day, and that’s especially true as they selflessly help others during this unprecedented time.”

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.