The Pennsylvania Senate has approved a bill that would require the state to notify local first responders of COVID-19 cases in their communities, according to Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24).
Senate Bill 1110 would require the Department of Health or local health authority to release to 911 centers, police, fire, coroners and EMS personnel an individual’s communicable disease status when the disease is the subject of an emergency disaster proclamation by the Governor.
The information must be relayed within 24 hours of the department receiving information of a confirmed case of a communicable disease.
Mensch added that local emergency responders do not have enough Personal Protective Equipment to use when responding to calls. Senate Bill 1110 would help them better prioritize and target the use of that equipment so they can protect themselves in situations where they know they will be exposed to COVID-19 on the job.
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 and assisted living facilities.
More than 60 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the Commonwealth 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.