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Public Health - Laws and Policies on Quarantine and Detention


General Powers and Duties: Part G - Quarantine and Inspection
QUARANTINE & INSPECTION - REGULATIONS TO CONTROL DISEASE

A) Promulgation and enforcement by Surgeon General - The Surgeon General is authorized to enforce regulations necessary, in his judgment, to prevent introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases. This includes inspection, fumigation and other measures deemed necessary.

B) Apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals - Individuals may not be detained except for the purpose of preventing introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases.

C) Application of regulations to persons entering from foreign countries - Individuals entering a State or having a possession from a foreign country may be apprehended, detained, or examined if believed to be infected with a communicable disease.

D) Apprehension and examination of persons reasonably believed to be infected - Any individual believed to be infected with a communicable disease and 1) moving about from one state to another; or 2) to be a probable source of infection, may be detained for such time and in such manner as deemed necessary.

E) Preemption - Nothing in this section or section 266 of this title, or regulations under either, may be construed as superseding any provision under State Law, except if such a provision conflicts with an exercise of Federal authority under this section or section 266 of this title.


Executive Orders That Amend Public Health Services Act

Executive Order 13674: Revised List of Quarantinable Communicable Diseases - PDF | Text | HTML

An Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama on July 31, 2014. Amendment to Executive Order 13295 (Revised List of Quarantinable Communicable Diseases) by replacing subsection (b) with the following:

“(b) Severe acute respiratory syndromes, which are diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled. This subsection does not apply to influenza.”

Executive Order 13375: Amendment to Executive Order 13295 Relating to Certain Influenza Viruses and Quarantinable and Communicable Diseases - PDF | Text | HTML

An Executive Order signed by President George W. Bush on April 5, 2005. Amendment to Executive Order 13295 (Relating to Certain Influenza Viruses and Quarantinable and Communicable Diseases) by adding Influenza to the Public Health Services Act:

“(c) Influenza caused by novel or reemergent influenza viruses that are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic.”

Executive Order 13295: Revised List of Quarantinable Communicable Diseases - PDF | Text | HTML

An Executive Order issued by President George W. Bush on April 4, 2003. Amendment to section 361(b) of the Public Health Service Act, adding additional communicable diseases:

(a) Cholera; Diphtheria; infectious Tuberculosis; Plague; Smallpox; Yellow Fever; and Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (Lassa, Marburg, Ebola, Crimean-Congo, South American, and others not yet isolated or named).

(b) Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which is a disease associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, is transmitted from person to person predominantly by the aerosolized or droplet route, and, if spread in the population, would have severe public health consequences.


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