The “COVID Presumption” for designated employees (detention officer, custodial officer, firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technicians) set forth in Texas Government Code §607.0545 is no longer in effect for dates of injury June 15, 2023, forward.
A state of disaster may not continue for more than 30 days unless renewed by the governor. (Texas Government Code §418.014). Governor Abbott’s last 30-day renewal of Texas’ COVID-19 disaster declaration was May 15, 2023. He did not renew his COVID-19 disaster declaration on June 15, 2023; therefore, for dates of injury June 15, 2023, forward, the COVID presumption is no longer in effect. Texas Government Code §607.0545 (a) (1) and (2).
The presumption states that a covered employee is presumed to have contracted COVID in the course and scope of employment if the covered employee is employed in the area designated in a disaster declaration by the governor under Section 418.014 or another law and the disaster is related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or coronavirus disease; and contracts the disease during the disaster declared by the governor.
What this means to you:
- For dates of injury June 15, 2023 forward – the COVID presumption does not apply.
- Employees previously covered by the COVID presumption who file a claim alleging COVID as an occupational disease will have the same burden of proof applicable in occupational disease claims.
- For dates of injury on or before June 14, 2023, the statutory COVID presumption remains in effect.