It is only a draft at this time, but it is the beginning of a life saving law. Created for Kaliah, to remember her always by warning citizens when there is an epidemic in their community!
Christopher Blake 360-786-7392
House Health Care Committee
December 12, 2012 (9:45 AM)
AN ACT Relating to ---; and adding a new section to chapter 70.05 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 43.70 RCW to read as follows:
(1) By January 1, 2014, the department shall establish guidance for local health jurisdictions to consider while developing community health alert notification plans. The guidance shall assist local health jurisdictions with the adoption of community health alert notification plans by addressing components of the plan including the:
(a) Methods for monitoring the incidence of notifiable conditions within the local health jurisdiction and determining when the incidence of notifiable conditions exceeds the rate that would be expected within the particular jurisdiction; and
(b) Manner and content for informing the public within the local health jurisdiction's territory as notifiable conditions exceed the rate that would be expected. The department shall identify factors to consider when determining the appropriate level of public notification such as the risk to the public from the notifiable condition, the duration of the higher incidence of the notifiable condition, the extent of the increased incidence, the cost-effectiveness of various options, and the balancing of the need to keep the public informed without creating either undue concern or diminished receptivity to severe public health risks.
(2) In developing the guidelines, the department shall establish a temporary work group of public health officials, representatives of local media establishments, and the public.
(3) For purposes of this section,
(a) "Local health jurisdiction" means a county board of health organized under chapter 70.05 RCW, a health district organized under chapter 70.46 RCW, or a combined city and county health department organized under chapter 70.08 RCW.
(b) "Notifiable condition" means a disease or condition that the state board of health has determined to be of public health importance and must be reported to either the local health officer or the department.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 70.05 RCW to read as follows:
(1) By July 1, 2014, each local board of health shall adopt a community health alert notification plan that establishes the method by which the local health department, health district, or combined city and county health department shall keep the public who reside in its jurisdiction informed of variations in the incidence of notifiable conditions that exceed the rate that would be expected. The plan shall address the elements identified in section 1 and shall give consideration to the guidance established by the department.
(2) The plan shall be made available to the public on the web site of each local health department.
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