Louisiana bill would ensure clergy visits happen in pandemic



BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana state senators want to ensure a person’s pastor or priest can visit in the hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility during the current coronavirus pandemic or any future public health emergency. A bill by Republican Sen. Robert Mills would require Louisiana’s Health Department to create rules requiring inpatient health care facilities to allow members of the clergy to visit patients during such an emergency — if the patient asks for the visit. The health care facility would receive immunity from most civil lawsuits for injury or death if the clergy member gets infected. The Senate voted 34-0 Tuesday for the measure, sending it to the House for debate.