RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina lawmakers passed an act that would guarantee at least one visitor at hospitals, nursing homes, and similar facilities. It passed after a 40-9 vote.
The No Patient Left Alone Act came in response to concerns first raised last year as the pandemic began. A similar bill did not pass last year amid concerns that it conflicted with federal regulations.
The bill creates mandatory visitation rights at facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals that fall under the authority of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Those facilities can require people to wear masks and are screened for COVID-19. They can also restrict someone who fails that screening or tests positive for an infectious disease.
Facilities that violate the law could be fined $500 per day by the Department of Health and Human Services.