HARRISBURG – Family members would be able to visit long-term care facilities as essential caregivers for PA’s most vulnerable citizens under legislation signed into law. House Bill 649, now Act 67, amends the PA Health Care Facilities Act to allow a designated essential family caregiver to be named for each resident of a licensed long-term care facility during a declaration of disaster emergency. One tragedy of the COVID-19 epidemic were thousands of nursing home and long-term care patients forced to die alone in isolation and who never received the opportunity to say goodbye to those who cared for them the most. Under the new law, PA will have the protocols in place to end any prolonged separation severely impacting the overall health and emotional well-being of our most vulnerable citizens. Similar measures were successfully implemented in Minnesota and Indiana.