RICHMOND, VA. -- Earlier today, the House voted unanimously to pass HB 5048, my bill requiring the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to make communicable disease outbreak information at state-regulated institutions available to the public.
“Earlier this year, there was a disagreement about the legality, and debate about the pros and cons, of releasing information about nursing homes at the start of Virginia’s Covid-19 outbreak,” said Delegate Mark Sickles (D-43). “But today’s strong bi-partisan support for this transparency measure reflects support for the public’s right to know when it is most important to know. We must keep Virginia’s consumers, parents, and families informed during public health emergencies.”
Senator George Barker is carrying an almost identical bill in the Senate, which also has bi-partisan support. HB 5048 passed with an emergency clause meaning it will go into effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature.