Yes. If properly diagnosed, this virus could be classified as an occupational disease under the workers' compensation statutes of Georgia, but not as a job injury.
The Georgia occupational disease statute is archaic, antiquated and wholly inadequate and should be eliminated completely. Here is why:
- You must prove you were not exposed to the disease in any other way. This means you must demonstrate that you were not exposed to the Corona Virus through your neighbors, through travel to other places where the virus could have spread, etc.
- The disease is not on ordinary disease of life to which the general population is exposed;
- There must be a direct casual connection between the disease and the work you performed.
This burden of proof is heavy and subject to extensive litigation delays.
Nevertheless, if you can demonstrate that others at your job site also have the virus you are in a much better position to be able to prove your case.
If proven positively, you are entitled to medical care and disability benefits as in any job injury. However, there is another hurdle that must be overcome which is apportionment. This means you must prove that the exposure was solely due to risks at work.