Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
6/26/2022

Part I. Definitions

12VAC5-90-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Affected area" means any part or the whole of the Commonwealth, which has been identified as where persons reside, or may be located, who are known to have been exposed to or infected with, or who are reasonably suspected to have been exposed to or infected with, a communicable disease of public health threat. "Affected area" shall include, but not be limited to, cities, counties, towns, and subsections of such areas, public and private property, buildings, and other structures.

"Arboviral infection" means a viral illness that is transmitted by a mosquito, tick, or other arthropod. This includes, but is not limited to, chikungunya (CHIK), dengue, eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), LaCrosse encephalitis (LAC), also known as California encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis (SLE), West Nile virus (WNV), and Zika virus (Zika) infection.

"Board" means the State Board of Health.

"Cancer" means all carcinomas, sarcomas, melanomas, leukemias, and lymphomas excluding localized basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin, except for lesions of the mucous membranes.

"CDC" means the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"Child care center" means a child day center, child day program, family day home, family day system, or registered family day home as defined by § 63.2-100 of the Code of Virginia, or a similar place providing day care of children by such other name as may be applied.

"Clinic" means any facility, freestanding or associated with a hospital, that provides preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, or palliative care or services to outpatients.

"Commissioner" means the State Health Commissioner or his duly designated officer or agent, unless stated in a provision of this chapter that it applies to the State Health Commissioner in his sole discretion.

"Communicable disease" means an illness due to an infectious agent or its toxic products which is transmitted, directly or indirectly, to a susceptible host from an infected person, animal, or arthropod or through the agency of an intermediate host or a vector or through the inanimate environment.

"Communicable disease of public health significance" means an illness caused by a specific or suspected infectious agent that may be transmitted directly or indirectly from one individual to another. This includes but is not limited to infections caused by human immunodeficiency viruses, bloodborne pathogens, and tubercle bacillus. The State Health Commissioner may determine that diseases caused by other pathogens constitute communicable diseases of public health significance.

"Communicable disease of public health threat" means an illness of public health significance, as determined by the State Health Commissioner in accordance with this chapter, caused by a specific or suspected infectious agent that may be reasonably expected or is known to be readily transmitted directly or indirectly from one individual to another and has been found to create a risk of death or significant injury or impairment; this definition shall not, however, be construed to include human immunodeficiency viruses or the tubercle bacilli, unless used as a bioterrorism weapon.

"Companion animal" means, consistent with the provisions of § 3.2-6500 of the Code of Virginia, any domestic or feral dog, domestic or feral cat, nonhuman primate, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit not raised for human food or fiber, exotic or native animal, reptile, exotic or native bird, or any feral animal or any animal under the care, custody, or ownership of a person or any animal that is bought, sold, traded, or bartered by any person. Agricultural animals, game species, or any animals regulated under federal law as research animals shall not be considered companion animals for the purpose of this chapter.

"Condition" means any adverse health event, such as a disease, an infection, a syndrome, or as indicated by a procedure (including but not limited to the results of a physical exam, laboratory test, or imaging interpretation) suggesting that an exposure of public health importance has occurred.

"Contact" means a person or animal known to have been in such association with an infected person or animal as to have had an opportunity of acquiring the infection.

"Contact services" means a broad array of services that are offered to persons with infectious diseases and their contacts. Contact services include contact tracing, providing information about current infections, developing risk reduction plans to reduce the chances of future infections, and connecting to appropriate medical care and other services.

"Contact tracing" means the process by which an infected person or health department employee notifies others that they may have been exposed to the infected person in a manner known to transmit the infectious agent in question.

"Coronavirus infection, severe" means suspected or confirmed infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-associated coronavirus (MERS-CoV), or another coronavirus causing a severe acute illness.

"Decontamination" means the use of physical or chemical means to remove, inactivate, or destroy hazardous substances or organisms from a person, surface, or item to the point that such substances or organisms are no longer capable of causing adverse health effects and the surface or item is rendered safe for handling, use, or disposal.

"Department" means the State Department of Health, also referred to as the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

"Designee" or "designated officer or agent" means any person, or group of persons, designated by the State Health Commissioner, to act on behalf of the commissioner or the board.

"Ehrlichiosis/Anaplasmosis" means human infections caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis (formerly included in the category "human monocytic ehrlichiosis" or "HME"), Ehrlichia ewingii or Anaplasma phagocytophilum (formerly included in the category "human granulocytic ehrlichiosis" or "HGE").

"Epidemic" means the occurrence in a community or region of cases of an illness clearly in excess of normal expectancy.

"Essential needs" means basic human needs for sustenance including but not limited to food, water, clothing, and health care (e.g., medications, therapies, testing, and durable medical equipment).

"Exceptional circumstances" means the presence, as determined by the commissioner in his sole discretion, of one or more factors that may affect the ability of the department to effectively control a communicable disease of public health threat. Factors to be considered include but are not limited to: (i) characteristics or suspected characteristics of the disease-causing organism or suspected disease-causing organism such as virulence, routes of transmission, minimum infectious dose, rapidity of disease spread, the potential for extensive disease spread, and the existence and availability of demonstrated effective treatment; (ii) known or suspected risk factors for infection; (iii) the potential magnitude of the effect of the disease on the health and welfare of the public; and (iv) the extent of voluntary compliance with public health recommendations. The determination of exceptional circumstances by the commissioner may take into account the experience or results of investigation in Virginia, another state, or another country.

"Foodborne outbreak" means two or more cases of a similar illness acquired through the consumption of food contaminated with chemicals or an infectious agent or its toxic products. Such illnesses include but are not limited to heavy metal intoxication, staphylococcal food poisoning, botulism, salmonellosis, shigellosis, Clostridium perfringens food poisoning, hepatitis A, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infection.

"Healthcare-associated infection" (also known as nosocomial infection) means a localized or systemic condition resulting from an adverse reaction to the presence of an infectious agent or agents or its toxin or toxins that (i) occurs in a patient in a health care setting (e.g., a hospital or outpatient clinic), (ii) was not found to be present or incubating at the time of admission unless the infection was related to a previous admission to the same setting, and (iii) if the setting is a hospital, meets the criteria for a specific infection site as defined by CDC.

"Hepatitis C, acute" means the following clinical characteristics are met: (i) discrete onset of symptoms indicative of viral hepatitis and (ii) jaundice or elevated serum aminotransferase levels and the following laboratory criteria are met: (a) serum alanine aminotransferase levels (ALT) greater than 200 IU/L; (b) IgM anti-HAV negative (if done); (c) IgM anti-HBc negative (if done); and (d) hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV) positive, HCV antigen positive, or HCV RNA positive by nucleic acid test.

"Hepatitis C, chronic" means that the laboratory criteria specified in clauses (b), (c) and (d) listed above for an acute case are met but clinical signs or symptoms of acute viral hepatitis are not present and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels do not exceed 200 IU/L. This category will include cases that may be acutely infected but not symptomatic.

"Immunization" means a procedure that increases the protective response of an individual's immune system to specified pathogens.

"Independent pathology laboratory" means a nonhospital or a hospital laboratory performing surgical pathology, including fine needle aspiration biopsy and bone marrow specimen examination services, which reports the results of such tests directly to physician offices, without reporting to a hospital or accessioning the information into a hospital tumor registry.

"Individual" means a person or companion animal. When the context requires it, "person or persons" shall be deemed to include any individual.

"Infection" means the entry and multiplication or persistence of a disease-causing organism (prion, virus, bacteria, fungus, parasite, or ectoparasite) in the body of an individual. An infection may be inapparent (i.e., without recognizable signs or symptoms but identifiable by laboratory means) or manifest (clinically apparent).

"Influenza A, novel virus" means infection of a human with an influenza A virus subtype that is different from currently circulating human influenza H1 and H3 viruses. Novel subtypes include H2, H5, H7, and H9 subtypes or influenza H1 and H3 subtypes originating from a nonhuman species.

"Invasive" means the organism is affecting a normally sterile site, including but not limited to blood or cerebrospinal fluid.

"Investigation" means an inquiry into the incidence, prevalence, extent, source, mode of transmission, causation of, and other information pertinent to a disease occurrence.

"Isolation" means the physical separation, including confinement or restriction of movement, of an individual or individuals who are infected with, or are reasonably suspected to be infected with, a communicable disease in order to prevent or limit the transmission of the communicable disease to uninfected and unexposed individuals.

"Isolation, complete" means the full-time confinement or restriction of movement of an individual or individuals infected with, or reasonably suspected to be infected with, a communicable disease in order to prevent or limit the transmission of the communicable disease to uninfected and unexposed individuals.

"Isolation, modified" means a selective, partial limitation of freedom of movement or actions of an individual or individuals infected with, or reasonably suspected to be infected with, a communicable disease. Modified isolation is designed to meet particular situations and includes but is not limited to the exclusion of children from school, the prohibition or restriction from engaging in a particular occupation or using public or mass transportation, or requirements for the use of devices or procedures intended to limit disease transmission.

"Isolation, protective" means the physical separation of a susceptible individual or individuals not infected with, or not reasonably suspected to be infected with, a communicable disease from an environment where transmission is occurring, or is reasonably suspected to be occurring, in order to prevent the individual or individuals from acquiring the communicable disease.

"Laboratory" means a clinical laboratory that examines materials derived from the human body for the purpose of providing information on the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of disease.

"Laboratory director" means any person in charge of supervising a laboratory conducting business in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Law-enforcement agency" means any sheriff's office, police department, adult or youth correctional officer, or other agency or department that employs persons who have law-enforcement authority that is under the direction and control of the Commonwealth or any local governing body. "Law-enforcement agency" shall include, by order of the Governor, the Virginia National Guard.

"Lead, reportable levels" means any detectable blood lead level in children 15 years of age and younger and levels greater than or equal to 5 μg/dL in a person older than 15 years of age.

"Least restrictive" means the minimal limitation of the freedom of movement and communication of an individual while under an order of isolation or an order of quarantine that also effectively protects unexposed and susceptible individuals from disease transmission.

"Medical care facility" means any hospital or nursing home licensed in the Commonwealth, or any hospital operated by or contracted to operate by an entity of the United States government or the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Midwife" means any person who is licensed as a nurse midwife by the Virginia Boards of Nursing and Medicine or who is licensed by the Board of Medicine as a certified professional midwife.

"National Healthcare Safety Network" or "NHSN" means a surveillance system created by the CDC for accumulating, exchanging, and integrating relevant information on infectious adverse events associated with health care delivery.

"Nucleic acid detection" means laboratory testing of a clinical specimen to determine the presence of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA) specific for an infectious agent using any method, including hybridization, sequencing, or amplification such as polymerase chain reaction.

"Nurse" means any person licensed as a professional nurse or as a licensed practical nurse by the Virginia Board of Nursing.

"Occupational outbreak" means a cluster of illness or disease that is indicative of a work-related exposure. Such conditions include but are not limited to silicosis, asbestosis, byssinosis, pneumoconiosis, and tuberculosis.

"Outbreak" means the occurrence of more cases of a disease than expected.

"Period of communicability" means the time or times during which the etiologic agent may be transferred directly or indirectly from an infected person to another person, or from an infected animal to a person.

"Physician" means any person licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy by the Virginia Board of Medicine.

"Quarantine" means the physical separation, including confinement or restriction of movement, of an individual or individuals who are present within an affected area or who are known to have been exposed, or may reasonably be suspected to have been exposed, to a communicable disease and who do not yet show signs or symptoms of infection with the communicable disease in order to prevent or limit the transmission of the communicable disease of public health threat to unexposed and uninfected individuals.

"Quarantine, complete" means the full-time confinement or restriction of movement of an individual or individuals who do not have signs or symptoms of infection but may have been exposed, or may reasonably be suspected to have been exposed, to a communicable disease of public health threat in order to prevent the transmission of the communicable disease of public health threat to uninfected individuals.

"Quarantine, modified" means a selective, partial limitation of freedom of movement or actions of an individual or individuals who do not have signs or symptoms of the infection but have been exposed to, or are reasonably suspected to have been exposed to, a communicable disease of public health threat. Modified quarantine may be designed to meet particular situations and includes but is not limited to limiting movement to the home, work, or one or more other locations, the prohibition or restriction from using public or mass transportation, or requirements for the use of devices or procedures intended to limit disease transmission.

"Reportable disease" means an illness due to a specific toxic substance, occupational exposure, or infectious agent, which affects a susceptible individual, either directly, as from an infected animal or person, or indirectly through an intermediate host, vector, or the environment, as determined by the board.

"School" means (i) any public school from kindergarten through grade 12 operated under the authority of any locality within the Commonwealth, (ii) any private or religious school that offers instruction at any level or grade from kindergarten through grade 12; and (iii) any private or religious nursery school or preschool, or any private or religious child care center required to be licensed by the Commonwealth.

"Serology" means the testing of blood, serum, or other body fluids for the presence of antibodies or other markers of an infection or disease process.

"Surveillance" means the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of outcome-specific data for use in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice. A surveillance system includes the functional capacity for data analysis as well as the timely dissemination of these data to persons who can undertake effective prevention and control activities.

"Susceptible individual" means a person or animal who is vulnerable to or potentially able to contract a disease or condition. Factors that affect an individual's susceptibility include but are not limited to physical characteristics, genetics, previous or chronic exposures, chronic conditions or infections, immunization history, or use of medications.

"Toxic substance" means any substance, including any raw materials, intermediate products, catalysts, final products, or by-products of any manufacturing operation conducted in a commercial establishment, that has the capacity, through its physical, chemical or biological properties, to pose a substantial risk of death or impairment either immediately or over time, to the normal functions of humans, aquatic organisms, or any other animal but not including any pharmaceutical preparation which deliberately or inadvertently is consumed in such a way as to result in a drug overdose.

"Tubercle bacilli" means disease-causing organisms belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and includes Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis, and Mycobacterium africanum, or other members as may be established by the commissioner.

"Tuberculin skin test (TST)" means a test for demonstrating infection with tubercle bacilli, performed according to the Mantoux method, in which 0.1 ml of 5 TU strength tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD) is injected intradermally on the volar surface of the arm. Any reaction is observed 48-72 hours after placement and palpable induration is measured across the diameter transverse to the long axis of the arm. The measurement of the indurated area is recorded in millimeters and the significance of the measured induration is based on existing national and department guidelines.

"Tuberculosis" means a disease caused by tubercle bacilli.

"Tuberculosis, active disease" (also "active tuberculosis disease" and "active TB disease"), as defined by § 32.1-49.1 of the Code of Virginia, means a disease caused by an airborne microorganism and characterized by the presence of either (i) a specimen of sputum or other bodily fluid or tissue that has been found to contain tubercle bacilli as evidenced by culture or nucleic acid amplification, including preliminary identification by rapid methodologies; (ii) a specimen of sputum or other bodily fluid or tissue that is suspected to contain tubercle bacilli as evidenced by smear, and where sufficient clinical and radiographic evidence of active tuberculosis disease is present as determined by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Virginia; or (iii) sufficient clinical and radiographic evidence of active tuberculosis disease as determined by the commissioner is present, but a specimen of sputum or other bodily fluid or tissue containing, or suspected of containing, tubercle bacilli is unobtainable.

"Tuberculosis infection in children age <4 years" means a significant reaction resulting from a tuberculin skin test (TST) or other approved test for latent infection without clinical or radiographic evidence of active tuberculosis disease, in children from birth up to their fourth birthday.

"Vaccinia, disease or adverse event" means vaccinia infection or serious or unexpected events in persons who received the smallpox vaccine or their contacts, including but not limited to bacterial infections, eczema vaccinatum, erythema multiforme, generalized vaccinia, progressive vaccinia, inadvertent inoculation, post-vaccinial encephalopathy or encephalomyelitis, ocular vaccinia, and fetal vaccinia.

"Waterborne outbreak" means two or more cases of a similar illness acquired through the ingestion of or other exposure to water contaminated with chemicals or an infectious agent or its toxic products. Such illnesses include but are not limited to giardiasis, viral gastroenteritis, cryptosporidiosis, hepatitis A, cholera, and shigellosis. A single case of laboratory-confirmed primary amebic meningoencephalitis or of waterborne chemical poisoning is considered an outbreak.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-42 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-28-100 § 1.1, eff. July 1, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; Errata, 15:8 VA.R. 1099 January 4, 1999; amended, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 21, eff. July 28, 2004; Volume 23, Issue 15, eff. May 2, 2007; Volume 27, Issue 13, eff. March 28, 2011; Volume 33, Issue 2, eff. October 20, 2016.

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