Bill Description: House Bill 244 would clarify that residents' right to receive visitors while in a residential care or assisted living facility includes in-person visits, and that this right cannot be conditioned on the basis of a visitor's vaccination status.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
Among the many egregious violations of individual rights we witnessed over the last several years, one of the most troubling was the callous denial of patients’ right to in-person visits with friends and family while bedridden or confined to a hospital or care facility.
In extreme cases, we even saw people denied access to their loved ones who were in their final hours, a truly unprecedented level of cruelty perpetrated against both patients and their families.
House Bill 244 would amend two subsections under Section 39-3316, Idaho Code, titled Resident Rights, to add "in-person" to existing rights of access to residents of a "residential care or assisted living facility."
It would also say that "a facility may not require precautions, such as health screenings, for in-person visitors that are more stringent than precautions for facility staff."
What makes this bill better than the other House bills on this topic is that it explicitly says the "in-person access pursuant to subsection (7)(a) and (b) of this section shall not be precluded on the basis of a visitor's vaccination status."
This is a critical addition to the law that will eliminate one of the primary excuses used to deny in-person access to residents.
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