Resolution to look into hep A outbreak response passes committee

KY lawmakers take next step to examine state response to hepatitis A outbreak

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Lawmakers want to get to the bottom of what caused a widespread hepatitis A outbreak across the state, and determine if state health officials responded to it as best as they could.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 154 passed unanimously through committee Monday.

The resolution will be on the consent calendar in the Senate, which puts it on the the fast track for consideration in the House, with just four legislative days left this session.

The resolution directs the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to look into Kentucky's recent response to the hepatitis A outbreak and recommend how future responses could be more effective.

The unanimous committee vote comes a little over a week after Kentucky Public Health commissioner Jeffery Howard spoke at a press conference, where he defended his administration against an investigative report that alleged an option to spend more money on a response to the outbreak was presented to leaders, but declined at the direction of Howard.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey announced the resolution alongside Republican Senator Ralph Alvarado in an attempt to show its bipartisan support.

“There’s no blame to assign yet because we don’t have any answers,” McGarvey said. “But this is to look at the local health departments, the response that the cabinet had to say what happened, how did it happen and how can we prevent it from happening in the future.”

McGarvey said 43 people have died during the outbreak so far, while more than 4,000 have been infected.

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