Prohibits healthcare facilities from preventing visitation of in-patients based on a visitor’s vaccination status

State: FL
Bill Number: SB 988
Position: SUPPORT
Action Required: NONE
Status: Enacted, signed by Governor and effective on 4/6/2022

Legislation Details:

UPDATE: 4/6/2022 - The governor signed SB 988, and it's provisions are effective immediately, giving healthcare facilities 30 days to implement policies and procedures as required by the bill.  See news article -

This bill as enacted requires, in part, no later than 30 days after the effective date of  this act, each provider shall establish visitation policies and procedures that may not be more stringent than those established for the provider’s staff and may not require visitors to submit proof of any vaccination or immunization.

SB 988 was presented to the governor on 4/5/2022. This bill is sponsored by Senator Garcia.

SB 988 establishes the "No Patient Left Alone Act" in response to the many situations in which individuals were denied visitation during COVID-19. The bill applies to hospitals, hospice, intermediate care facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. This bill requires these providers to establish visitation policies and procedures which must allow patients, clients, or residents to designate an essential caregiver. The caregiver may be a family member, friend, guardian, or other individual. 

These policies and procedures must allow in-person visitation with an essential caregiver for pediatric patients, in end-of-life situations, when a patient is making major medical decisions, and other scenarios specified by the bill. 

NVIC Advocacy supports the portion of the bill which states that providers' safety-related policies and procedures may not require visitors to submit proof of any vaccination or immunization.

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should not dictate visitation based on an individual's vaccination status. Visitation is desperately needed by patients and residents of these facilities, and vaccination status should never be used to prevent them from in-person interaction with their loved ones. - text, status, and history of SB 988.