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Title: Section 2.6 - Investigations and Response Activities

Effective Date

09/03/2020

2.6 Investigations and Response Activities.

(a) Except where other procedures are specifically provided in law, every local health authority, either personally or through a qualified representative, shall immediately upon receiving a report of a case, suspected case, outbreak, or unusual disease, investigate the circumstances of such report at any and all public and private places in which the local health authority has reason to believe, based on epidemiological or other relevant information available, that such places are associated with such disease.  Such investigations shall, consistent with any direction that the State Commissioner of Health may issue:

(1) Verify the existence of a disease or condition;

(2) Ascertain the source of the disease-causing agent or condition;

(3) Identify unreported cases;

(4) Locate and evaluate contacts of cases and suspected cases, as well as those reasonably expected to have been exposed to the disease;

(5) Collect and submit, or cause to be collected or submitted, for laboratory examination such specimens as may furnish necessary or appropriate information for determining the source of disease, or to assist with diagnosis; and furnish or cause to be furnished with such specimens pertinent data on forms prescribed by the State Commissioner of Health, including but not limited to the history of cases, physical findings and details of the epidemiological investigation;

(6) Examine the processes, structures, conditions, machines, apparatus, devices, equipment, records, and material within such places that may be relevant to the investigation of disease or condition;

(7) Instruct a responsible member of a household or entity, as applicable, to implement appropriate actions to prevent further spread of a disease; and

(8) Take any other steps to reduce morbidity and mortality that the local health authority determines to be appropriate.

(b) When a case or suspected case of a disease, condition, outbreak, or unusual disease occurs in any business, organization, institution, or private home, the person in charge of the business, organization, institution or the home owner, as well as any individuals or entities required to report pursuant to sections 2.10 and 2.12 of this Part, shall cooperate with the State Department of Health and local health authorities in the investigation of such disease, condition, outbreak, or unusual disease.

(c) Investigation Updates and Reports.

(1) Upon request of the State Department of Health, the local health authority shall submit updates and reports on outbreak investigations to the State Department of Health.  The content, timeframe, and manner of submission of such updates shall be determined by the State Department of Health.

(2) The local health authority shall complete investigation reports of outbreaks within 30 days of the conclusion of the investigation in a manner prescribed by the State Commissioner of Health, unless the State Commissioner of Health prescribes a different time period.

(d) Commissioner authority to lead investigation activities.

(1) The State Commissioner of Health may elect to lead investigation activities where:

(i) Residents of multiple jurisdictions within the State are affected by an outbreak of a reportable disease, condition, or unusual disease; or

(ii) Residents in a jurisdiction or jurisdictions within the State and in other state are affected by an outbreak of a reportable disease, condition, or unusual disease; or

(iii) An outbreak of an unusual disease or a reportable disease or condition involves a single jurisdiction with the high potential for statewide impact.

(2) Where the State Commissioner of Health elects to lead investigation activities pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subdivision, the State Commissioner of Health shall lead such investigation, but local health authorities shall take all reasonable steps to assist in such investigation, including supply of personnel, equipment or information. Provided further that the local health authority shall take any such action as the State Commissioner of Health deems appropriate and that is within the jurisdiction of the local health authority. Any continued investigation by the local health authority shall be solely pursuant to the direction of the State Commissioner of Health, and the State Commissioner of Health shall have access to any investigative materials which were heretofore created by the local health authority.

 

Volume

VOLUME A (Title 10)

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