Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 2. Disease Prevention and Control
6/17/2019

§ 32.1-48.02. Investigations of verified reports or medical evidence; counseling; outpatient and emergency treatment orders; custody upon emergency order; application of article.

A. Upon receiving at least two verified reports or upon receiving medical evidence that any person who is reputed to know that he is infected with a communicable disease of public health significance is engaging in at-risk behavior, the Commissioner or his designee may conduct an investigation through an examination of the records of the Department and other medical records to determine the disease status of the individual and that there is cause to believe he is engaging in at-risk behavior.

B. If the investigation indicates that the person has a communicable disease of public health significance caused by a non-airborne microorganism and that there is cause to believe he is engaging in at-risk behavior, the Commissioner or his designee may issue an order for such person to report to the local or district health department in the jurisdiction in which he resides to receive counseling on the etiology, effects and prevention of the specific disease of public health significance. The person conducting the counseling shall prepare and submit a report to the Commissioner or his designee on the counseling session or sessions in which he shall document that the person so counseled has been informed about the acts that constitute at-risk behavior, appropriate precautions, and the need to use appropriate precautions. The counselor shall also report any statements indicating the intentions or understanding of the person so counseled.

C. If the investigation, described in subsection A, indicates that the person has a communicable disease of public health significance caused by an airborne microorganism, such as tubercle bacillus, that causes serious disease and can result in death and that the person has refused or failed to adhere to a prescribed course of treatment and, despite counseling, is engaging in conduct that places uninfected persons at risk of contracting such airborne communicable disease of public health significance, the Commissioner or his designee may issue an outpatient treatment order for such person to report to the local or district health department in the jurisdiction in which he resides to receive appropriate outpatient treatment and education concerning his disease.

D. If the investigation, described in subsection A, indicates that the person has a communicable disease of public health significance caused by an airborne microorganism, such as tubercle bacillus, which causes serious disease and can result in death and, despite documented and appropriate counseling, is engaging in conduct that unreasonably places uninfected persons at risk of contracting such airborne communicable disease of public health significance, such as tuberculosis, and medical data demonstrate that he poses an imminent threat to the health of others, the Commissioner may issue an emergency order requiring such person to be taken immediately into custody and placed, for a period, not to exceed 48 hours, in the least restrictive, willing facility providing protection of the health of others and appropriate treatment to the person upon finding that at least one of the following conditions is met:

1. The person has refused or failed to report to the local health department after having been ordered to do so pursuant to subsection C, for appropriate outpatient treatment and education concerning his disease;

2. The person has a documented history of failure to adhere to a prescribed course of treatment; or

3. Documentation exists that the person has indicated that he will not comply with the prescribed treatment.

If the specified 48-hour period terminates on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, such person may be detained until the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. During this period, the Commissioner shall proceed in accordance with § 32.1-48.03.

E. In order to implement an emergency order issued pursuant to subsection D of this section, all state and local law-enforcement officers are authorized to take custody of the subject of such emergency order immediately upon issuance of the emergency order by the Commissioner.

F. The provisions of this article shall only apply to communicable diseases of public health significance and shall not apply to communicable diseases of public health threat.

1990, c. 958; 1993, c. 705; 2001, c. 837; 2004, cc. 773, 1021.

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.