State Rep. Julie Calley is spearheading an effort to address the needs of health care professionals and energy infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calley, of Portland, recently introduced the four-piece plan to help improve the state’s pandemic response.
“These are simple, common sense adjustments we can make to ensure critical industries, like our health care facilities and energy companies, continue to have a safe and healthy workforce to meet the needs of Michigan families,” Calley said.
The first measure, House Bill 6448, would make changes to Michigan’s COVID-19 liability laws to give energy workers flexibility needed to continue preforming critical jobs during the ongoing pandemic. Calley said current laws would prevent energy employees from reporting to work for up to 14 days following contact with another individual who has or displays symptoms of the virus.
“Energy companies employ highly skilled individuals who are not easily replaced when absent from work, and the quarantine requirement increases the risk of staffing falling short and critical energy infrastructure shutting down,” Calley said. “It’s imperative that our energy infrastructure remains operational throughout the pandemic, especially as winter arrives.”
Her proposal would exempt critical energy workers from the mandatory quarantine period, in limited circumstances, if the employees follow safety guidelines issued by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The other measures would help combat staffing shortages at health care facilities.
HB 6493 would allow all staff members at health care facilities to assist with basic tasks like feeding and transporting patients. HBs 6494 and 6495 would temporarily extend deadlines for health professionals to complete continuing education requirements and license renewals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This virus continues to put a tremendous amount of stress on our health care system and the medical professionals who dedicate their lives to caring for patients,” Calley said. “We can ease their burden by providing additional flexibility in these areas.”
While the current legislative session is nearing its end, Calley said she is committed to continuing her work on the reforms in the coming weeks.
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