This page provides an overview of emergency health planning. In 2006, state and local governments were faced with a pandemic flu emergency. Local governments created response plans for major public health emergencies to accompany already existing comprehensive emergency management plans. One of the issues was continuity operations planning for services that might be disrupted if personnel were unable to come to work. Some of the documents generated during the previous pandemic flu threat have been retained as examples under the section, Pandemic Response Archived Documents.
In Washington State health planning is done by the state Department of Health and the local health boards and districts. Planning for emergencies, such as a pandemic health emergency requires multi-jurisdictional coordination and cooperation. The page is intended to supplement information from the Department of Health and local government health agencies. Included are sample preparedness plans and other documents related to local government operations.
Public Health Emergency Preparedness Planning
This section provides general references for public health emergency preparedness planning. Topical searches need to be done on some the federal websites to obtain needed technical information.
Washington State Resources
- Emerging Infectious Diseases, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
- Preparing for a Pandemic Influenza: A Primer for Governors and Senior State Officials, National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices
- Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Version 2.0, 02/2011
- Quarantines: The Law Enforcement Role, prepared by Charles Friend, Police Chief, 02/2006
- Terrorism and other Public Health Emergencies: A Reference Guide for Media - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Washington State Laws Delineating Health Authority
This section lists the majority of the statutes, administrative regulations, and opinions that relate to the authority to address a major health emergency, such as a pandemic epidemic.
Memoranda and Opinion
- 2008 Update to Memorandum Re: Public Health Emergencies - Current Legal Authority
- Memorandum Re: Public Health Emergencies - Current Legal Authority, to Mary Selecky, Secretary and Nancy Ellison, Deputy Secretary, Department of Health, from Joyce A. Roper, Sr. Assistant Attorney General, Agriculture and Health Division, 4010, 01/31/2002
- Washington Attorney General Informal Opinion, re: city responsibility for paying employees, if health official orders them away from the workplace, to Senator Bob McCaslin, from Jean M. Wilkinson, Senior Counsel, 08/02/2006
- Ch. 43.20 RCW - Establishes the state board of health; see, in particular:
- RCW 43.20.050(2)(d), (e) - Authorizes the state board of health to adopt rules for the imposition and use of isolation and quarantine isolation and quarantine and for the prevention and control of infectious diseases
- Ch. 43.70 RCW - Establishes the state department of health; see, in particular:
- RCW 43.70.200 - Secretary of department of health is authorized to take legal action to enforce the public health laws and rules and regulations of the state Board of Health or local rules and regulations within the jurisdiction served by the local health department.
- Ch. 70.05 RCW - Local health departments, boards, and officers; see, in particular:
- RCW 70.05.060(4) - Requires local health departments and boards to provide for the control and prevention of any dangerous, contagious or infectious disease within their jurisdiction
- RCW 70.05.070(3) - Authorizes the local health officer to control and prevent the spread of any dangerous, contagious, or infectious diseases that may occur within his or her jurisdiction
- RCW 70.05.090 - Requires physicians to report to the local health officer any dangerous contagious or infectious disease, or with any diseases required by the state Board of Health to be reported
- RCW 70.05.110 - Requires local health officials to report contagious or infectious diseases to the state Board of Health
- Ch. 70.26 RCW - Pandemic Influenza Preparedness
- Ch. 70.46 RCW - Health Districts
- RCW 38.52.070 - Authorizes and directs each political subdivision to establish a local organization for emergency management and to establish local comprehensive emergency management plans, and identifies the powers of political subdivisions in the event of an emergency or disaster
- Ch. 246-100 WAC - Board of health regulations on communicable and certain other diseases; see, in particular:
- WAC 246-100-036 - Provides that local health officers must when necessary, conduct investigations, and institute disease control and contamination control measures
- WAC 246-100-040 - Procedures for isolation or quarantine (See also Isolation and Quarantine Forms and Resources, Washington State Department of Health)
- WAC 246-100-045 - Conditions and principles for isolation or quarantine
- WAC 246-100-070 - Provides that an order issued by a local health officer constitutes the duly-authorized application of lawful rules adopted by the board of health and must be enforced by all police officers, sheriffs, and all other officers and employees of any political subdivisions within the jurisdiction of the health department
- Related Fire/EMS Regulations
Other Legal References
- Legal Authorities for Isolation and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Public Health Law Program, Center for Disease Control and Prevention - The Public Health Law Program is part of the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS). Public health law examines the authority of the government at various jurisdictional levels to improve the health of the general population within societal limits and norms.
- The Centers for Law and the Public's Health, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities - A primary, international, national, state, and local resource on public health law, ethics, human rights, and policy for public health practitioners, lawyers, legislators, judges, academics, policymakers, and others
- Model State Emergency Health Powers Act - The Centers for Law and the Public's Health, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities
Public Health Emergency Response Plans
- Clark County Public Health Emergency Response Plans
- King County Public Health Emergency Preparedness Plans - Includes: Alternate Care Facilities Plan, All Hazards Mass Fatality Management Plan, Fatality Management from a Public Health Perspective: NACCHO Public Health Preparedness Summit 2013, Family Assistance Center, Isolation and quarantine, Pandemic flu, Bioterrorism, Radiological emergency preparedness
- Seattle City of Seattle Pandemic Influenza Incident Annex : A Preparedness and Response Plan for an Influenza Pandemic, 06/2007
- Snohomish County Medical Examiner Emergency / Disaster Policies and Procedures, effective on April 13, 2011
Pandemic Response Archived Documents
The documents listed on this page are provided as examples generated during the pandemic flu epidemic in 2006. Should another pandemic occur, local governments should coordinate with their local health boards or health districts which are responsible for health planning.
- Bellingham Policy ADM 00.00.05 - Ensuring continuity of government during pandemic flu epidemic - interim, 05/15/2006
- Olympia Executive Order - Regarding steps to invoke in case of pandemic flu, 2006 - Personnel policy re conditions for employees to be at work - vaccinations, leaves, etc.
- Pierce County Emergency Management Memo Re Pandemic Flu/Avian Flu, to Cities and Towns, Public Safety Agencies, School Districts, Port of Tacoma, Hospitals, from Steve Bailey, Director, Pierce County Emergency Management, 10/18/2005
- Puyallup Memorandum of agreement between Puyallup Police Department and Tacoma-Pierce County Department of Health re response to quarantine and isolation, 05/15/2006
- Spokane Valley
- Continuity of Operations for Pandemic, 09/08/2009
- Resolution No. 09-013 - Adopts policy whereby regular employees who are ready, willing and able to work, but for health and safety reasons are precluded from doing so due to risk of contagion, would receive their normal compensation. 09/2009
- Sumner Pandemic Flu Plan, 05/2006