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Can a diagnosis of COVID-19 be a work injury?

Yes. If you have been exposed to and contract COVID-19 at work as result of your work activities, you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. This type of injury falls under the category of an “occupational disease” under Minnesota workers’ compensation law. COVID-19 is not an ordinary disease, such as the flu or a cold, but instead a serious respiratory illness that can be fatal. To prove a compensable work injury, the injured worker must prove the following elements about the virus/occupational disease:

(1) it arose out of and in the course of the employment;
(2) there is a direct and proximate causal connection between the conditions under which the work is performed and the virus/disease, and
(3) that the virus/disease follows as a natural incident of the work and as a result of the exposure occasioned by the nature of the employment.