December 23, 2020 -
The regulation is intended to clarify and strengthen the Department of Health’s (DOH) authority and that of local health departments to take specific actions to control the spread of COVID-19 and other highly contagious communicable diseases, including actions related to investigation and response to a disease outbreak, as well as the issuance of isolation and quarantine orders. Below is a summary of the regulation.
- Requires individuals and entities subject to a public health investigation to cooperate with DOH and local health departments.
- Clarifies authority for DOH commissioner to lead investigation activities.
- Clarifies that DOH and local departments of health have the authority to issue isolation and quarantine orders.
- Explicitly states that violation of an isolation or quarantine order is grounds for civil and/or criminal penalties.
- Requires DOH to designate those communicable diseases that require prompt action, and to make the list available on the Department’s website.
- Requires clinical laboratories to immediately report positive test results for communicable diseases identified as requiring prompt attention, in a manner and format identified by DOH.
- Mandates hospitals to report syndromic surveillance data during an outbreak of a highly contagious disease.
- Permits the Commissioner of DOH to direct hospitals to take patients during an outbreak of a highly contagious communicable disease, which is consistent with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment Act (EMTALA).