Current through Register Vol.. 38, No. 17, April 11, 2022
commissioner, in his sole discretion, may invoke the provisions of Article 3.02
et seq.) of Chapter 2 of Title 32.1 of the Code of Virginia and may order a
complete or modified quarantine of any individual upon a determination that:
1. Such individual is known to have been
exposed to or is reasonably suspected to have been exposed to a communicable
disease of public health threat;
Exceptional circumstances render the procedures of Article 3.01 (§
32.1-48.01 et seq.)
of Chapter 2 of Title 32.1 of the Code of Virginia to be insufficient, or the
individual has failed or refused to comply voluntarily with the control
measures directed by the commissioner in response to a communicable disease of
public health threat; and
Quarantine is the necessary means to contain a communicable disease of public
health threat to which an individual has been or may have been exposed and thus
may become infected.
The commissioner, in his sole discretion, may also order
the quarantine of an affected area if, in addition to the above, the Governor
has declared a state of emergency for such affected area of the
Documentation. For quarantine for a communicable disease of public health
threat, information about the infection or suspected infection; the individual
or affected area; and the nature or suspected nature of the exposure shall be
duly recorded by the local health department, in consultation with the Office
of Epidemiology. This information shall be sufficient to enable documenting a
record of findings and enable the commissioner to prepare a written order of
quarantine, including the information required in §
the Code of Virginia. In addition, sufficient information on individuals shall
be maintained by the local health department to enable appropriate follow-up of
individuals for health status evaluation and treatment as well as compliance
with the order of quarantine.
The commissioner shall ensure that the protected health
information of any individual subject to the order of quarantine is disclosed
only in compliance with state and federal law.
Means of quarantine. The local health
department shall assess the situation, and in consultation with the Office of
Epidemiology, shall recommend to the commissioner the least restrictive means
of quarantine that effectively protects unexposed and susceptible individuals.
The place of quarantine selected shall allow the most freedom of movement and
communication with family members and other contacts without allowing disease
transmission to others.
The commissioner, in his sole discretion, may order the
quarantined individual to remain in his residence, to remain in another place
where the individual is present, or to report to a place designated by the
commissioner for the duration of his quarantine.
The commissioner's order of quarantine shall be for a
duration consistent with the known incubation period of the communicable
disease of public health threat or, if the incubation period is unknown or
uncertain, for a period anticipated as being consistent with the incubation
period for other similar infectious agents. In the situation where an area is
under quarantine, the duration of quarantine shall take into account the
transmission characteristics and known or suspected incubation period.
D. Delivery. The local health
department shall deliver the order of quarantine, or ensure its delivery by an
appropriate party such as a law-enforcement officer or health department
employee, to the affected individual in person to the extent practicable. If,
in the opinion of the commissioner, the scope of the notification would exceed
the capacity of the local health department to ensure notification in a timely
manner, then print, radio, television, Internet, or other available means shall
be used to inform those affected.
Enforcement. For any individual identified
as, or for whom probable cause exists that he may be, in violation of any order
of quarantine, or for whom probable cause exists that he may fail or refuse to
comply with any such order, the enforcement authority directed by the
commissioner to law-enforcement agencies shall include the power to detain or
Any individual so detained shall be held in the least
restrictive environment that can provide any required health care or other
services for such individual. The commissioner shall ensure that
law-enforcement personnel responsible for enforcing an order of quarantine are
informed of appropriate measures to take to protect themselves from contracting
the disease of public health threat.
Health status monitoring. The local health
department shall monitor the health of those under quarantine either by regular
telephone calls, visits, self-reports, or by reports of caregivers or health
care providers or by other means. If an individual develops symptoms compatible
with the communicable disease of public health threat, then
would apply to the individual.
Essential needs. Upon issuance of an order of quarantine to an individual by
the commissioner, the local health department shall manage the quarantine, in
conjunction with local emergency management resources, such that individual
essential needs can be met to the extent practicable. Upon issuance of an order
of quarantine by the commissioner for an affected area, existing emergency
protocols pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (§
et seq.) of Title 44 of the Code of Virginia shall be utilized for mobilizing
appropriate resources to ensure essential needs are met.
H. Appeals. Any individual subject to an
order of quarantine or a court-ordered confirmation or extension of any such
order may file an appeal of the order of quarantine in accordance with the
provisions of § 32.1-48.10 of the Code of Virginia. An appeal shall not
stay any order of quarantine.
Release from quarantine. Once the commissioner determines that an individual is
no longer at risk of becoming infected and poses no risk of transmitting the
communicable disease of public health threat to other individuals, the order of
quarantine has expired, or the order of quarantine has been vacated by the
court, the individual under the order of quarantine shall be released
immediately. If the risk of an individual becoming infected and transmitting
the communicable disease of public health threat to other individuals continues
to exist, an order of quarantine may be developed to extend the restriction
prior to release from quarantine.
Affected area. If the criteria in
subsection A of this section are met and an area is known or suspected to have
been affected, then the commissioner shall notify the Governor of the situation
and the need to order quarantine for the affected area. In order for an
affected area to be quarantined, the Governor must declare a state of emergency
for the affected area.
If an order of quarantine is issued for an affected area,
the commissioner shall cause the order of quarantine to be communicated to the
individuals residing or located in the affected area. The use of multiple forms
of communication, including radio, television, Internet, or other available
means, may be required in order to reach the individuals who were in the
affected area during the known or suspected time of exposure.
The provisions for documentation, means of quarantine,
enforcement, health status monitoring, essential needs, and release from
quarantine described above will apply to the quarantine of affected areas.
Appropriate management of a disease of public health threat for an affected
area may require the coordinated use of local, regional, state, and national
resources. In specifying one or more affected areas to be placed under
quarantine, the objective will be to protect as many people as possible using
the least restrictive means. As a result, defining the precise boundaries and
time frame of the exposure may not be possible, or may change as additional
information becomes available. When this occurs, the commissioner shall ensure
that the description of the affected area is in congruence with the Governor's
declaration of emergency and shall ensure that the latest information is
communicated to those in or exposed to the affected area.