13.0306 Response and control of event or occurrence of a public health emergency.

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(a) The director and department are authorized to use the powers and provisions set forth in this act to respond to, control, or ameliorate conditions arising from events or occurrences of public health emergencies in addition to any and all powers and authority provided to the director and department under any other law or regulation of the Territory.

(b) In carrying out these authorities or powers, the department and director are guided by the following principles:

(1) The exercise of any authority or power under this act shall be to further or support improving, controlling, correcting, or responding to protect the public’s health during or after any event or occurrence of a public health emergency.

(2) Whenever possible, the department and director shall exercise its authorities or powers through procedures, practices, or programs that are based on modern, scientifically-sound principles and evidence.

(3) The department and director shall strive to design and implement procedures in the response plans that are well-targeted to accomplishing essential public health emergency services and functions. The department and director should employ compulsory powers only to avert a significant risk and should avoid using compulsory power in a manner that is over-broad (applying to more individuals than is necessary for an effective response).

(4) The department and director should employ the least restrictive alternative in the exercise of its authorities or powers, especially compulsory powers. This means that where the agency may exercise one or more of its authorities or powers to respond to a public health emergency, the department and director shall, to the extent possible, employ the policy or practice that least infringes on the rights or interests of individuals. Employing the least restrictive alternative does not require the department or the director to adopt policies or programs that are less effective in protecting the public’s health or safety.

(5) The department and director shall not discriminate in an unlawful manner against individuals on the basis of their race, creed, color, ethnicity, nationality, religious beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability status.

(6) The department and director shall respect the dignity of each individual under their jurisdiction, regardless of the individual’s nationality, citizenship, or residency status.

History: 2007, PL 30-11.