Senate Bill 191, “No Patient Left Alone Act,” is headed to the governor’s desk. The bill passed the state Senate, 49-0, on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
The bill ensures patients in health care facilities can have a visitor, which should be commonplace but ended because of COVID restrictions. Many people died alone. The bill passed the House, 79-19, on Sept. 23.
The law would create mandatory visitation rights for patients, including in nursing homes and hospice care facilities, and requires those facilities to follow federal guidelines for visitation, a news release says. Facilities found violating visitation rights would be subject to a $500 fine per day for each incident.
“No human being should be left to die alone, forcibly separated from a loved one,” said Sen. Warren Daniel, R-Burke, who sponsored the bill.
Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth, a co-sponsor, said, “The fact that so many families were forced apart during a critical time is heartbreaking. We must prevent this tragedy from happening again.”