CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A bill designed to allow family members access to loved ones during times of a health crises – like the COVID-19 pandemic – has just weeks left to advance in the West Virginia Legislature.
“Mylissa’s Law” (HB 2368) was passed by the House of Delegates on March 23rd and sent to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee.
The measure, as first reported by 13 News, would require health care facilities to allow visitation by family members to patients no less than every five days, and in the case of imminent death would allow unrestricted access.
The bill is named for Mylissa Smith who died of complications of COVID-19 on October 3, 2020. After she was hospitalized, family members were denied access to her based on Governor Jim Justice’s Executive Order limiting visitation at hospitals, nursing homes and long term care facilities in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Advocates of the measure only have until April 10th to get the bill out of the Senate committee or it will die for the 2021 legislative session. The committee, as of Saturday, had 60 bills waiting for action.
The 2021 West Virginia legislative session ends at midnight April 10th.