Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 4. Health Care Planning
5/14/2021

§ 32.1-116.3. Reporting of communicable diseases; definitions.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Communicable disease of public health threat" means an illness of public health significance, as determined by the State Health Commissioner in accordance with regulations of the Board of Health, 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 or person to another or to uninfected persons through airborne or nonairborne means 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 tuberculosis, unless used as a bioterrorism weapon. "Individual" shall include any companion animal.

"Communicable diseases" means any airborne infection or disease, including, but not limited to, tuberculosis, measles, certain meningococcal infections, mumps, chicken pox and Hemophilus Influenzae Type b, and those transmitted by contact with blood or other human body fluids, including, but not limited to, human immunodeficiency virus, Hepatitis B and Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis.

B. Every licensed health care facility that transfers or receives patients via emergency medical services vehicles shall notify the emergency medical services agencies providing such patient transport of the name and telephone number of the individual who is the infection control practitioner with the responsibility of investigating exposure to infectious diseases in the facility.

Every emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner and that is established in the Commonwealth shall notify all facilities to which it transports patients or from which it transfers patients of the names and telephone numbers of the members, not to exceed three persons, who have been appointed to serve as the exposure control officers. Every emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner shall implement universal precautions and shall ensure that these precautions are appropriately followed and enforced.

C. Upon requesting any emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner to transfer a patient who is known to be positive for or who suffers from any communicable disease, the transferring facility shall inform the attendant-in-charge of the transferring crew of the general condition of the patient and the types of precautions to be taken to prevent the spread of the disease. The identity of the patient shall be confidential.

D. If any firefighter, law-enforcement officer, or emergency medical services provider has an exposure of blood or body fluid to mucous membrane or non-intact skin or a contaminated needlestick injury, his exposure control officer shall be notified, a report completed, and the infection control practitioner at the receiving facility notified.

E. If, during the course of medical care and treatment, any physician determines that a patient who was transported to a receiving facility by any emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner (i) is positive for or has been diagnosed as suffering from an airborne infectious disease or (ii) is subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2, then the infection control practitioner in the facility shall immediately notify the exposure control officer who represents the transporting emergency medical services agency of the name of the patient and the date and time of the patient's admittance to the facility. The exposure control officer for the transporting emergency medical services agency shall investigate the incident to determine if any exposure of emergency medical services personnel or other emergency personnel occurred. The identity of the patient and all personnel involved in any such investigation shall be confidential.

F. If any firefighter, law-enforcement officer, or emergency medical services provider is exposed to a communicable disease, the exposure control officer shall immediately notify the infection control practitioner of the receiving facility. The infection control practitioner of the facility shall conduct an investigation and provide information concerning the extent and severity of the exposure and the recommended course of action to the exposure control officer of the transporting agency.

G. Any person requesting or requiring any employee of a public safety agency as defined in subsection M of § 32.1-45.2 to arrest, transfer, or otherwise exercise custodial supervision over an individual known to the requesting person (i) to be infected with any communicable disease or (ii) to be subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2 shall inform such public safety agency employee of a potential risk of exposure to a communicable disease.

H. Local or state correctional facilities which transfer patients known to have a communicable disease or to be subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2 shall notify the emergency medical services agency providing transportation services of a potential risk of exposure to a communicable disease, including a communicable disease of public health threat. For the purposes of this section, the chief medical person at a local or state correctional facility or the facility director or his designee shall be responsible for providing such information to the transporting agency.

I. Any person who, as a result of this provision, becomes aware of the identity or condition of a person known to be (i) positive for or to suffer from any communicable disease, or to have suffered exposure to a communicable disease or (ii) subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2, shall keep such information confidential, except as expressly authorized by this provision.

J. No person known to be (i) positive for or to suffer from any communicable disease, including any communicable disease of public health threat, or (ii) subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2, shall be refused transportation or service for that reason by an emergency medical services, law-enforcement, or public safety agency.

1988, cc. 760, 789; 1989, c. 443; 1993, c. 655; 2004, cc. 773, 1021; 2008, c. 118; 2009, cc. 478, 552; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2020, c. 502.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.