2013 ORS § 431.264¹
Authority of Public Health Director to take public health actions
  • authorized actions
  • rules

(1) Unless the Governor has declared a public health emergency under ORS 433.441 (Proclamation of public health emergency), the Public Health Director may, upon approval of the Governor or the designee of the Governor, take the public health actions described in subsection (2) of this section if the Public Health Director determines that:

(a)(A) A communicable disease, reportable disease, disease outbreak, epidemic or other condition of public health importance has affected more than one county;

(B) There is an immediate need for a consistent response from the state in order to adequately protect the public health;

(C) The resources of the local public health authority or authorities are likely to be quickly overwhelmed or unable to effectively manage the required response; and

(D) There is a significant risk to the public health; or

(b) A communicable disease, reportable disease, disease outbreak, epidemic or other condition of public health importance is reported in Oregon and is an issue of significant regional or national concern or is an issue for which there is significant involvement from federal authorities requiring state-federal coordination.

(2) The Public Health Director, after making the determinations required under subsection (1) of this section, may take the following public health actions:

(a) Coordinate the public health response across jurisdictions.

(b) Prescribe measures for the:

(A) Identification, assessment and control of the communicable disease or reportable disease, disease outbreak, epidemic or other condition of public health importance; and

(B) Allocation and distribution of antitoxins, serums, vaccines, immunizing agents, antibiotics, antidotes and other pharmaceutical agents, medical supplies or personal protective equipment.

(c) After consultation with appropriate medical experts, create and require the use of diagnostic and treatment guidelines and provide notice of those guidelines to health care providers, institutions and facilities.

(d) Require a person to obtain treatment and use appropriate prophylactic measures to prevent the introduction or spread of a communicable disease or reportable disease, unless:

(A) The person has a medical diagnosis for which a vaccination is contraindicated; or

(B) The person has a religious or conscientious objection to the required treatments or prophylactic measures.

(e) Notwithstanding ORS 332.075 (Powers of board), direct a district school board to close a childrens facility or school under the jurisdiction of the board. The authority granted to the Public Health Director under this paragraph supersedes the authority granted to the district school board under ORS 332.075 (Powers of board) to the extent the authority granted to the board is inconsistent with the authority granted to the director.

(f) Issue guidelines for private businesses regarding appropriate work restrictions.

(g) Organize public information activities regarding the public health response to circumstances described in subsection (1) of this section.

(h) Adopt reporting requirements for, and provide notice of those reporting requirements to, health care providers, institutions and facilities for the purpose of obtaining information directly related to the public health threat presented.

(i) Take control of antitoxins, serums, vaccines, immunizing agents, antibiotics, antidotes and other pharmaceutical agents, medical supplies or personal protective equipment.

(3) The authority granted to the Public Health Director under this section is not intended to override the general authority provided to a local public health authority except as already permitted by law, or under the circumstances described in subsection (1) of this section.

(4) If the Oregon Health Authority adopts temporary rules to implement subsection (2) of this section, the rules adopted are not subject to the provisions of ORS 183.335 (Notice) (6)(a). The authority may amend the temporary rules adopted under this subsection as often as is necessary to respond to the public health threat.

(5) If it is necessary for the authority to purchase antitoxins, serums, vaccines, immunizing agents, antibiotics, antidotes or other pharmaceutical agents, medical supplies or personal protective equipment, the purchases are not subject to the provisions of ORS chapter 279A, 279B or 279C.

(6) If property is taken under the authority granted to the Public Health Director under subsection (2) of this section, the owner of the property is entitled to reasonable compensation from the state. [2007 c.445 §5; 2009 c.595 §550]