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Click's 'Shirley and Wilma's Law' Passes Ohio House

The legislation ensures patients have access to family and clergy amid a pandemic
March 3, 2022
Gary Click News

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COLUMBUS – State Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery) announces House Bill 324, also known as “Shirley and Wilma’s Law,” passed out of the Ohio House today. The bill ensures that patients are allowed access to both family and clergy amid a pandemic such as COVID-19. 

“During the pandemic, an unintended consequence of protecting our healthcare workers against COVID-19 led to patients across the nation facing loneliness and isolation in our hospitals,” said Click. “This bipartisan bill honors two wonderful women who died under these very unfortunate circumstances, Shirley and Wilma, as it will ensure that no patient nor their family are denied these basic rights.”

Click acknowledges the legislation allows for hospital visitations during a public health emergency by establishing criteria for those types of visits including:

  • Requiring screening of visitors for symptoms before entering the facility;
  • Prohibit entry to visitors displaying or disclosing symptoms of a certain disease;
  • Require visitors to visit the patient in their room and to limit movement throughout the facility;
  • Require visitors to wear PPE, perform frequent hand hygiene, maintain physical distancing and follow other reasonable safety precautions;
  • Provide visitors with information and warnings about the transmission of the disease; and
  • Limit the number of visitors seeing a patient at one time and not allowing hospitals to count a clergy person towards any limit on the number of visitors permitted to see a patient at one time.

“While the rights denied to Shirley and Wilma cannot be undone, it is my hope this vote today is a step in the right direction to preserving them well-into the future when it comes to families in crisis during any type of public health emergency,” Click added.

The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.