Sheriff Stolle seeks benefits for first responders exposed to COVID-19

Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle is seeking to ensure first responders are covered under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act and Line of Duty Act if they become ill or die because of their exposure to COVID-19 on the job.

Sheriff Stolle sent the attached letter to Attorney General Mark Herring today requesting guidance on first responders’ benefits eligibility so that any lapses in coverage may be addressed by the Virginia General Assembly during the upcoming veto session that convenes on April 22.

“Our first responders – including my deputies – put themselves at risk every day when they come to work. That danger has never been more pronounced than today,” said Sheriff Stolle. “Despite the Public Health Emergency, our first responders must come to work every day and continue to provide the vital public safety function that our community relies on. They staff our jails, our fire stations, our ambulances and our patrol cars. Unless they’re sick, they don’t have the option to stay home, and practicing social distancing is all but impossible for them on the job. The Commonwealth of Virginia has an obligation to ensure that first responders are covered if they become sick or die after being exposed to COVID-19 at work. I have asked Attorney General Mark Herring to clarify their eligibility under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act and Line of Duty Act. If first responders are not covered due to illness or death from COVID-19, they should be, and I call on the Governor Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring and the Virginia General Assembly to take immediate action when it convenes on April 22.”

Sheriff Ken Stolle Letter to AG Mark Herring