The number of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases is growing daily. What happens if you contract the virus while at work? The rules in this regard are similar to other workplace exposure rules in Colorado. The most important factor in determining whether benefits pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Act would be available is to be able to show that the contraction of Covid-19 arose out of and in the course of employment. This would have to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Whether one will be able to prove this depends greatly on the work setting. If the infected employee is in a setting where the virus is prevalent such as a nurse, hospital worker, paramedic, police officer or firefighter and are dealing with the virus on the front lines, it will be far easier to show the connection between the contagion and the workplace. If, on the other hand, one is working from home with little community contact it will be far more difficult.
If you or someone you know feels they were exposed to and contracted the Covid-19 virus as a part of their job functions, they should immediately report such in writing to their employer and seek medical testing and care. It is extremely important that notice be provided in writing as soon as possible so that if it can be shown that the exposure happened at work the cost of care and treatment can be covered.
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We are remaining open and available to take your calls during the COVID-19 pandemic.