Monday, May 20, 2024
Sacramento OKs 'quiet zones' for hospitals.

Sacramento OKs ‘quiet zones’ for hospitals.

Sacramento City Council Approves 100-Foot “Quiet Zones” Near Healthcare Facilities

The Sacramento City Council has unanimously approved 100-foot “quiet zones” around health care facilities. The ordinance prohibits sound amplifiers, like microphones and megaphones, from being used within 100 feet of a health care facility’s property line, in order to reduce “harassing, obstructive, or intimidating behavior.” The change is part of an amendment to the city code relating to noise control, which still allows people to speak, distribute written material, and display signs and placards outside health care facilities.

New Rule Aims to Protect Patients’ Access to Healthcare Facilities

The inspiration for the new ordinance comes from ongoing protests and issues outside Planned Parenthood facilities in Sacramento. Vice President of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Lauren Babb, worked with City officials, including Sacramento city council member Katie Valenzuela, who sponsored the ordinance, on the implementation of the quiet zone. The new rule strives to strike a balance between the right to have a political opinion and express it and the right to safely access health care facilities without coming into either verbal or physical harm.

Additional Ordinance to Prevent Harassment Outside Healthcare Facilities

In addition to the quiet zone rule, another ordinance was passed in June 2023. It prohibits anyone within 100 feet of the entrance to a healthcare facility from getting within 8 feet of someone trying to get in or out of that facility in order to harass or intimidate the person. These ordinances aim to reduce harassment and intimidation of patients and protect their access to healthcare facilities.

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