Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2160
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Full Text of SB2160  102nd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 2/26/2021, by Sen. Jil Tracy


New Act

    Creates the Emergency Situation Essential Caregiver Act. Presents the findings of the General Assembly. Provides that during any emergency situation essential caregivers shall be allowed to visit residents in accordance with the Act. Provides that residents of a facility shall be allowed to designate up to 3 essential caregivers who will be allowed to visit and provide care in accordance with this Act in the event of an emergency. Provides that current residents of a facility must be allowed to designate up to 3 essential caregivers within 10 business days of the Act's effective date. Requires facilities to establish specified policies and procedures regarding the designation of essential caregivers, visitations by essential caregivers, and scheduling of such visits that will be in effect during the time of any emergency situation. Provides that residents who are unreasonably denied access to an essential caregiver are entitled to recover statutory damages from the facility of up to $10,000 per day that access is unreasonably denied. Contains an immunity provision for facilities, facility employees, or facility contractors who act in good faith to implement the Act's requirements. Provides that the Act may not be suspended or modified by Executive Order. Contains other provisions. Effective immediately.

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1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Emergency Situation Essential Caregiver Act.
6    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds that it is
7crucial that individuals who are residing in any type of
8residential care arrangement continue to have access to family
9members or friends who provide emotional, mental, and
10caregiving support. However, certain emergency situations such
11as a public health emergency, a natural disaster, or other
12emergency circumstances may require that visitation with
13residents be restricted. The General Assembly recognizes that
14a resident having access to family members or friends who
15provide emotional, mental, and caregiving support is extremely
16important to the resident's physical, mental, and emotional
17well-being. Therefore, the General Assembly finds that if a
18public health emergency, a natural disaster, or other
19emergency circumstance causes a facility to restrict
20visitation, the provisions of this Act shall apply and allow
21for residents to have access to visitation by designated
22essential caregivers to ensure that the resident's needs are



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1    Section 10. Definitions. In this Act:
2    "Emergency situation" means any time that there is a
3public health emergency, natural disaster, or other emergency
4that causes a facility to restrict visitation with a resident.
5An "emergency situation" may be statewide or location-based
6and may be pursuant to a disaster declaration by the Governor,
7a decision by local officials, or a decision by the facility.
8    "Essential caregiver" means an individual designated by a
9resident who regularly provides support in the form of
10companionship, emotional support, assistance in the activities
11of daily living such as feeding, mobility, personal hygiene,
12cognitive stimulation, communication, meaningful connection,
13relational continuity, or assistance in decision making,
14transportation to and from medical and personal care
15appointments. An "essential caregiver" may be a family member,
16a member of the resident's social network, or a volunteer. An
17"essential caregiver" may be paid or unpaid. A resident may
18designate any person as an essential caregiver. No special
19training is required to be an essential caregiver. "Essential
20caregiver" includes compassionate caregivers.
21    "Facility" means any of the following: a facility as
22defined in Section 10 of the Alzheimer's Disease and Related
23Dementias Special Care Disclosure Act; an assisted living
24establishment or shared housing establishment as defined in
25Section 10 of the Assisted Living and Shared Housing Act; a



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1Community Living Facility as defined in Section 3 of the
2Community Living Facilities Licensing Act; a facility as
3defined in Section 2 of the Life Care Facilities Act; a
4continuum of care facility as defined in Section 10 of the
5Continuum of Care Services for the Developmentally Disabled
6Act; a facility as defined in Section 1-113 of the Nursing Home
7Care Act; a MC/DD facility as defined in Section 1-113 of the
8MC/DD Act; an ID/DD facility as defined in Section 1-113 of the
9ID/DD Community Care Act; a hospice program as defined in
10Section 3 of the Hospice Program Licensing Act; a Supportive
11Residence as defined in Section 10 of the Supportive
12Residences Licensing Act; a community-integrated living
13arrangement as defined in Section 3 of the
14Community-Integrated Living Arrangements Licensure and
15Certification Act; a facility as defined in Section 1-102 of
16the Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Act of 2013; a
17home, institution, or other place operated by or under the
18authority of the Department of Veterans' Affairs; an
19Alzheimer's disease management center alternative health care
20model under the Alternative Health Care Delivery Act; and a
21home, institution, or other place that is a State-operated
22mental health or developmental disability center or facility.
23    "Resident" means a person who is living in a facility or is
24seeking admission to a facility. "Resident" includes a
25guardian of the person or an agent for the person under a power
26of attorney.



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1    Section 15. Use of essential caregivers. During any
2emergency situation an essential caregiver shall be allowed to
3visit a resident in accordance with this Act.
4    Section 20. Designation of essential caregivers.
5    (a) A resident of a facility shall be allowed to designate
6up to 3 essential caregivers who will be allowed to visit and
7provide care in accordance with this Act in the event of an
9    (b) Within 10 business days after the effective date of
10this Act or anytime thereafter, a current resident of a
11facility must be allowed to designate up to 3 essential
12caregivers. A new resident shall be allowed to designate up to
133 essential caregivers at the time of admission to the
14facility or at any time thereafter. A resident shall be
15allowed to modify an individual designated as an essential
16caregiver at anytime.
17    (c) A designation of an essential caregiver or a
18modification of the designation made by a guardian or an agent
19for the resident under a power of attorney must be in writing.
20    (d) In order to ensure that the needs of a resident are met
21during an emergency situation, facility staff should work
22cooperatively with the resident and his or her family to plan a
23schedule to accommodate the 3 essential caregivers and the
24resident's needs.



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1    Section 25. Essential caregiver visitation.
2    (a) During any emergency situation that affects a
3facility, a designated essential caregiver must be allowed to
4visit with a resident as specified in this Act. A facility may
5require compliance with safety protocols but shall not deny
6visitation by an essential caregiver in accordance with this
7Act so long as the essential caregiver follows the safety
8protocols. Required safety protocols may not be any more
9restrictive than the safety protocols required of staff in the
11    (b) Within 30 days after the effective date of this Act,
12the facility must establish policies and procedures regarding
13the designation of essential caregivers, visitation by
14essential caregivers, and scheduling of such visits that will
15be in effect during the time of any emergency situation. The
16policies and procedures shall include, but shall not be
17limited to, the following:
18        (1) Designation of an entry point to the facility.
19        (2) Specification of any procedures that must be
20    followed to sign in and out of the facility.
21        (3) Any safety protocols that must be followed by
22    essential caregivers when entering the facility, while in
23    the facility, while on the grounds of the facility, and
24    while outside of the facility with the resident, including
25    any transmission-based protocols that will be imposed upon



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1    return to the facility after an absence of more than 24
2    hours. The facility shall not prevent an essential
3    caregiver from walking in the halls with a resident or
4    taking a resident outside on the grounds of the facility
5    so long as the essential caregiver and resident follow
6    proper safety protocols. The facility shall not prevent an
7    essential caregiver from taking a resident into the
8    community so long as safety protocols are followed by the
9    essential caregiver and resident while in the community
10    and upon return to the facility.
11        (4) Any requirements for wearing personal protective
12    equipment and testing for COVID 19 or other diseases. Any
13    required personal protective equipment and testing shall
14    be provided by the facility at no cost to the resident or
15    the essential caregiver. The facility shall train the
16    essential caregiver on any safety protocols or procedures
17    that need to be followed during the emergency situation.
18    The facility shall not require an essential caregiver to
19    wear more personal protective equipment than the
20    facility's staff is required to wear.
21    (c) The policies and procedures adopted by the facility
22shall be provided in writing to each resident and each
23designated essential caregiver. If the policies and procedures
24are amended, each resident and each designated essential
25caregiver shall be provided with a written copy of the amended
26policies and procedures within 7 business days after adoption



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1of the amended policies and procedures.
2    (d) Each resident must be allowed a minimum of 3 2-hour
3essential caregiver visits per week. A facility shall allow
4additional essential caregiver visits as space allows. A
5visitation schedule shall allow for visits to be scheduled any
6day of the week and allow for daytime, nighttime, weekend, and
7holiday visitation.
8    (e) If a facility does not allow in-room visits due to a
9shared room, the facility must designate one room in a common
10area to be used for essential caregiver visitation. If
11visitation occurs outside of the resident's room, the
12essential caregiver must be given access to the resident's
13room at least once per month for a period of no less than 45
14minutes to check on the resident's personal belongings.
15    (f) A facility may limit essential caregiver visits to one
16essential caregiver per resident at one time unless an
17essential caregiver has a disability and needs the assistance
18of a second person or the resident is at the end-of-life. All
19essential caregivers and any end-of-life visitors must comply
20with all safety protocols of the facility. A facility shall
21provide an essential caregiver and any end-of-life visitor
22with a written copy of the safety protocols that must be
24    (g) If an essential caregiver has a disability and needs
25the assistance of a second person, a facility shall work with
26the essential caregiver to accommodate the disability.



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1    (h) If a resident is deemed to be at the end-of-life, all
2visitor restrictions will be lifted for the resident and the
3resident's first contact person shall be notified as soon as
4possible, and no longer than 8 hours, after the resident is
5deemed to be at the end-of-life. If a resident is deemed to be
6at end-of-life, all family members, all designated essential
7caregivers, any clergy requested by the resident or the
8family, and any friends of the resident who are listed in the
9resident's care plan or individual service plan shall be given
10access to the resident at any time. If the resident is in a
11private room, end-of-life access by family, essential
12caregivers, and friends shall be unlimited so long as the
13visitors remain in the room and do not disturb other
14residents. If the resident who is at the end-of-life shares a
15room with another person who is not a family member, the
16facility must try to move the resident to a private room. If
17the facility does not have the ability to move the resident to
18a private room, the facility may limit the number of visitors
19to no less than 2 at a time and must allow for visitors to
20rotate in and out at least once per hour. A facility may ask
21that end-of-life visitors step out to a designated area for a
22time period not to exceed one hour in order to provide direct
23care to the resident.
24    Section 30. Notice of emergency situation.
25    (a) A facility shall notify residents and any designated



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1essential caregivers within 24 hours of a decision to restrict
2visitation due an emergency situation.
3    (b) A facility shall inform an essential caregiver when
4the essential caregiver will be allowed to access the
5facility, which shall in no case be more than 7 days after an
6emergency situation first occurs or begins.
7    Section 35. Restriction or revocation of essential
8caregiver status. A facility may restrict or revoke essential
9caregiver status if the essential caregiver fails to follow
10any safety protocols, including, but not limited to, social
11distancing, use of personal protective equipment, or other
12disease-specific related rules of the facility. Before
13restricting or revoking essential caregiver status, the
14facility must provide notice to the resident and essential
15caregiver and the facility, resident, and essential caregiver
16should attempt to mediate the concerns.
17    Section 40. Remedies. A resident who is unreasonably
18denied access to an essential caregiver is entitled to recover
19statutory damages from the facility of up to $10,000 per day
20that access is unreasonably denied.
21    Section 45. Immunity. Except as provided in Section 40, a
22facility, facility employee, or facility contractor who, in
23good faith, implements the requirements of this Act shall not



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1be held civilly liable for damages, including punitive
2damages, for any act or omission related to the implementation
3of this Act, except for willful or wanton misconduct.
4    Section 50. Suspension or modification. Notwithstanding
5any other provision of law, this Act may not be suspended or
6modified by Executive Order. However, in the event of a
7disaster proclamation issued by the Governor pursuant to the
8Emergency Management Agency Act, where the facility is located
9in the designated disaster area, a facility may implement
10emergency visitation procedures pursuant to this Act.
11    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
12becoming law.