When the pandemic reached Georgia in March, hospitals and nursing homes began to deny visitation at their facilities. Gov. Brian Kemp in September eased guidelines, banning visitation only in health care facilities with COVID-19 cases or in counties with high infection rates.
House Bill 290 would allow at least two family members or friends to visit patients for no less than two hours each day. The bill would also prevent anyone from suing a health care facility if he or she got sick or was harmed because the hospital or nursing home allowed patients to receive visitors.
The legislation wouldn’t supersede an emergency order from the governor, but it would require the governor to explicitly state that visitation was not allowed.
“HB 290, in a balanced, measured way, affirms the humanity of patients in a way that many could have never foreseen before the COVID-19 pandemic,” Setzler said.