In a move that may provide leverage in the battle for legal immunity for long-term care providers, the Department of Labor released a statement Tuesday providing some liability protections for meat industry employers if workers contract coronavirus on the job. 

Administration officials and some Republicans on Capitol Hill have said businesses that are reopening need liability protection from lawsuits employees might file if they become sick. Many senior living and care operators also are concerned about lawsuits from employees or residents’ families amidst the pandemic.

Long-term care industry associations including LeadingAge and the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living back legal immunity for providers across the continuum of aging services for all claims that would arise out of actions related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The pandemic is stretching the facilities that provide health and personal care services for our elderly,” LeadingAge said in a statement. “The national shortage of personal protective equipment exposes these facilities to a heightened risk of infecting healthcare workers and patients. This PPE shortage coupled with the shortage of testing for professionals means that patients and healthcare workers in these facilities can inadvertently infect other patients, through no fault of their own.”

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