(1) Approved health care facility: a hospital
or other health care facility approved by the Commissioner as having
appropriate and necessary facilities, staff, and services for the diagnosis and
treatment of people with a communicable disease.
(2) Carrier: a person who harbors, or who the
Commissioner, a health officer, or a designee reasonably believes to harbor, a
specific pathogenic organism and who is potentially capable of spreading the
organism to others, whether or not there are presently discernible signs and
symptoms of the disease.
Medical Officer: the State Health Officer who is appointed by the Commissioner
of Health (as provided by T.C.A. §
advise the Commissioner on all matters of state health policy or a physician
who is the State Health Officer's designee.
(4) Clear and convincing evidence: evidence
which is positive and explicit, and which directly establishes the point to
which it is adduced. It means greater than a preponderance of the evidence
standard but less than a beyond a reasonable doubt standard.
(5) Commissioner: the Commissioner of Health,
or his designee, as provided at T.C.A. §§
(6) Communicable Disease: a disease or
condition resulting from infection by a pathogenic organism (infectious agent)
that may cause serious illness, disability, or death and which may be
transmitted from one person to another.
(7) Competent medical experts: physicians who
are trained and experienced in the diagnosis, treatment and control of
infectious/communicable disease and rely on known clinical or epidemiological
evidence. Generally, the standard for determining the existence of a
significant risk to others is the reasonable medical judgment of the public
the Tennessee Department of Health.
(9) Emergency: a person or premises is a
health threat to others and there is a clear and imminent danger to the public
health unless the person is immediately separated from other persons or access
to the premises is prevented or restricted, because no less restrictive
alternatives exist which would reasonably protect the public health.
(10) Health directive: a written statement
(or, in compelling circumstances, an oral statement followed by a written
statement), based on clinical or epidemiological evidence of the kind relied
upon by competent medical experts, that is issued by the Commissioner or health
officer, requiring a person to cooperate with health authorities' efforts to
prevent or control transmission of a disease that poses a health threat to
(11) Health Officer: the
Chief Medical Officer for the State of Tennessee; a licensed physician who is
authorized by the Department to function as a county, district, or regional
health officer in Tennessee, a licensed physician who serves as the health
director or health officer of any metropolitan public health department in
Tennessee; a licensed physician in the central office of the Department's
Health Services Administration.
(12) Health threat to others: the direct
threat of endangerment to others due to the presence of a cause or source of a
disease on premises, or due to the inability, unwillingness, or failure of a
carrier to act in such a manner as to not place others, without their consent,
at significant risk of exposure to, based on the reasonable medical judgment
and clinical or epidemiological understanding of public health authorities, a
disease that may cause serious illness, disability, or death. A determination
of whether or not premises or a person poses a health threat to others may
include, but is not necessarily limited to, assessing the cause, source, and/or
nature of a disease, the likelihood of infection, the modes of transmission,
the risk of transmission, and the severity of harm that might result due to
transmission of a disease. With respect to carriers, such a determination is
not based solely on a person's past behavior but also involves an assessment of
a person's current situation, including the effects of educational efforts and
statements of intent. A person having a disease, such as active tuberculosis,
even though rendered temporarily not capable of transmission because of
receiving therapy, who discontinues treatment prior to reaching a curative
result, may continue to be a health threat to others.
(13) Isolation: the separation for the period
of communicability of infected persons, or persons reasonably suspected to be
infected, from other persons, in such places and under such conditions as will
prevent the direct or indirect conveyance of the infectious agent from infected
persons to other persons who are susceptible or who may spread the agent to
(14) Least restrictive
alternative: use of means sufficient to protect the public health but tailored
to infringe upon any legally protected liberty interests, privacy interests,
property interests, and/or association interests of a person or premises
determined to be a health threat to others in the least restrictive
(15) Petitioner: the
Commissioner or health officer who commences an action in General Sessions
Court pursuant to these Rules.
Public health measure: a measure or measures, consistent with the purpose of
these Rules, imposed by a General Sessions Court against a carrier or owner or
operator of premises in order to prevent the spread of a disease that poses a
health threat to others.
Quarantine: limitation of freedom of movement or isolation of a person, or
preventing or restricting access to premises upon which the person, cause or
source of a disease may be found, for a period of time as may be necessary to
confirm or establish a diagnosis, to determine the cause or source of a
disease, and/or to prevent the spread of a disease. These limitations may be
accomplished by placing a person in a health care facility or a supervised
living situation, by restricting a person to the person's home, or by
establishing some other situation appropriate under the particular
(18) Respondent: a
person against whom an action in General Sessions Court is commenced pursuant
to these Rules.
the transfer of an infectious agent from one person to another, including, but
not limited to, airborne transmission, bloodborne transmission, foodborne
transmission, sexual transmission, skin contact transmission, or waterborne