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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).