Home>Governor>Discussions on ending pandemic health care liability protections just starting, Sweeney says

Senate President Steve Sweeney. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Discussions on ending pandemic health care liability protections just starting, Sweeney says

By Nikita Biryukov, May 13 2021 4:14 pm

Lawmakers are beginning to discuss lifting liability protections extended to health care practitioners in the early months of the pandemic, but there doesn’t appear to be an imminent resolution.

“We’re just starting to talk about it now,” Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said. “I’m not anywhere on it yet. We just started having the conversation.”

Last April, when New Jersey was in the grip of its first wave of infections and information on treating the virus was scarce, lawmakers passed and Gov. Phil Murphy quickly signed a bill shielding health care workers and facilities from legal liability.

Those laws have remained on the books in the intervening months despite what advocates say is a waning need.

New Jersey’s daily case counts are at their lowest since last year and are only expected to drop further as more and more residents get vaccinated. The law will lift when New Jersey’s public health emergency does, but the governor has signaled that declaration will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

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