Search
70.28.025  <<  70.28.031 >>   70.28.032

RCW 70.28.031

Powers and duties of health officers.

Each health officer is hereby directed to use every available means to ascertain the existence of, and immediately to investigate, all reported or suspected cases of tuberculosis in the infectious stages within his or her jurisdiction and to ascertain the sources of such infections. In carrying out such investigations, each health officer is hereby invested with full powers of inspection, examination, treatment, and quarantine or isolation of all persons known to be infected with tuberculosis in an infectious stage or persons who have been previously diagnosed as having tuberculosis and who are under medical orders for treatment or periodic follow-up examinations and is hereby directed:

     (a) To make such examinations as are deemed necessary of persons reasonably suspected of having tuberculosis in an infectious stage and to isolate and treat or isolate, treat, and quarantine such persons, whenever deemed necessary for the protection of the public health.

     (b) To make such examinations as deemed necessary of persons who have been previously diagnosed as having tuberculosis and who are under medical orders for periodic follow-up examinations.

     (c) Follow local rules and regulations regarding examinations, treatment, quarantine, or isolation, and all rules, regulations, and orders of the state board and of the department in carrying out such examination, treatment, quarantine, or isolation.

     (d) Whenever the health officer shall determine on reasonable grounds that an examination or treatment of any person is necessary for the preservation and protection of the public health, he or she shall make an examination order in writing, setting forth the name of the person to be examined, the time and place of the examination, the treatment, and such other terms and conditions as may be necessary to protect the public health. Nothing contained in this subdivision shall be construed to prevent any person whom the health officer determines should have an examination or treatment for infectious tuberculosis from having such an examination or treatment made by a physician of his or her own choice who is licensed to practice osteopathic medicine and surgery under chapter 18.57 RCW or medicine and surgery under chapter 18.71 RCW under such terms and conditions as the health officer shall determine on reasonable grounds to be necessary to protect the public health.

     (e) Whenever the health officer shall determine that quarantine, treatment, or isolation in a particular case is necessary for the preservation and protection of the public health, he or she shall make an order to that effect in writing, setting forth the name of the person, the period of time during which the order shall remain effective, the place of treatment, isolation, or quarantine, and such other terms and conditions as may be necessary to protect the public health.

     (f) Upon the making of an examination, treatment, isolation, or quarantine order as provided in this section, a copy of such order shall be served upon the person named in such order.

     (g) Upon the receipt of information that any examination, treatment, quarantine, or isolation order, made and served as herein provided, has been violated, the health officer shall advise the prosecuting attorney of the county in which such violation has occurred, in writing, and shall submit to such prosecuting attorney the information in his or her possession relating to the subject matter of such examination, treatment, isolation, or quarantine order, and of such violation or violations thereof.

     (h) Any and all orders authorized under this section shall be made by the health officer or his or her tuberculosis control officer.

     (i) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abridge the right of any person to rely exclusively on spiritual means alone through prayer to treat tuberculosis in accordance with the tenets and practice of any well-recognized church or religious denomination, nor shall anything in this chapter be deemed to prohibit a person who is inflicted with tuberculosis from being isolated or quarantined in a private place of his own choice, provided, it is approved by the local health officer, and all laws, rules and regulations governing control, sanitation, isolation, and quarantine are complied with.

[1996 c 209 § 2; 1996 c 178 § 21; 1967 c 54 § 4.]

Notes:

     Reviser's note: This section was amended by 1996 c 178 § 21 and by 1996 c 209 § 2, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).

     Effective date -- 1996 c 178: See note following RCW 18.35.110.