BOSTON (WWLP) – The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency may have ended, but COVID-19 is certainly not over.
A recent report looked at the prevalence of long COVID and how it is affecting the worker compensation system. The report, by the Cambridge-based Workers Compensation Research Institute, looked at compensation claims between March 2020 and September 2021 and found that 6% of workers who were infected by COVID-19 received treatment for long COVID.
Of those infected with long COVID, workers received care for a year after they became infected and spent a substantial amount of time away from work. Compared to the rest of the country, Massachusetts was found to have the second fewest amount of worker compensation claims for long COVID.
Senator Jo Comerford has submitted a bill that would create a special commission to study the effects of long COVID needs. The commission would identify among other things, the socio-economic, medical, mental health and fiscal needs in relation to the “surveillance, care and treatment of persons with long COVID.”
Comerford told 22News that “Long COVID continues to evolve and be understood in the, in the medical world, and we have to understand it here, in our medical world in the Commonwealth and I know many are grappling with it, and then we have to understand the impact of long COVID across individuals, families and communities.”
The bill would also have the commission make recommendations to help support people living with long COVID – but through the lens of “racial, cultural and regional equity.” It has been sent to the Committee on Public Health and has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.