September 5th, 2019

CDC Plan for the Control of Communicable Diseases

Federal Register [#2016-18103] will permit the CDC to detain individuals deemed a threat to public health

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Through this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is amending its domestic (interstate) and foreign quarantine regulations to best protect the public health of the United States.

These amendments are being proposed to aid public health responses to outbreaks of communicable diseases.

This Notice is in response to the largest recorded outbreak of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in history, the recent outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea, and repeated outbreaks and responses to measles in the United States, as well as the ongoing threat of other new or re-emerging communicable diseases.

The provisions contained herein provide additional clarity to various safeguards to prevent the importation and spread of communicable diseases affecting human health into the United States and interstate.

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Both the domestic and foreign portions of this NPRM include new proposed public health definitions; new proposed regulatory language codifying HHS/CDC's activities concerning implementation of non-invasive public health prevention measures (i.e., traveler health screening) at U.S. ports and other U.S. locations (i.e., railway stations, bus terminals); and proposed provisions for affording persons served with a Federal public health order (e.g., isolation, quarantine) with due process, including requiring that HHS/CDC explain the reasons for issuing the order, administrative processes for appealing the order, and a mandatory reassessment of the order.

In addition, the domestic portion of this NPRM also proposes reporting requirements for commercial passenger flights of death or illness to CDC; a provision allowing for implementation of travel restrictions and issuance of travel permits by CDC for individuals under Federal quarantine, isolation, or conditional release orders, or in response to a state or local request for assistance; and new regulatory language clarifying when an individual who is moving between U.S. states is “reasonably believed to be infected” with a quarantinable communicable disease in a “qualifying stage,” which determines whether such an individual may be apprehended or examined for potential infection with a quarantinable communicable disease.