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Communicable Diseases Regulations

made under Sections 74 and 106 of the
Health Protection Act
S.N.S. 2004, c. 4
O.I.C. 2005-457 (October 14, 2005, effective November 1, 2005), N.S. Reg. 196/2005

1 These regulations may be cited as the Communicable Diseases Regulations.

2 (1) In these regulations,

(a) "Act" means the Health Protection Act;

(b) "communicable disease" includes dangerous disease;

(c) "contact" means a person or animal suspected to have been in association with an infected person or animal or a contaminated environment to a sufficient degree to have had the opportunity to become infected;

(d) "infected" means harbouring an infectious agent;

(e) "institution" includes an institution prescribed by subsection 2(3) of the Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Conditions Regulations;

(f) "Manual" means the Nova Scotia Communicable Disease Manual as approved by the Chief Medical Officer;

(g) "outbreak" means an occurrence in a community or region of an illness, specific health- related behaviour or other health-related events clearly in excess of normal expectancy.

(2) For the purposes of the Act,

(a) "cleaning" means removing, by scrubbing and washing, infectious agents that may adhere to surfaces, or removing organic matter favourable to the survival of infectious agents;

(b) "disinfecting" means destroying infectious agents outside the body by any means;

(c) "incubation period" means the period of time between the exposure of a person to an infectious agent and the appearance in the person of the first sign or symptom of the communicable disease caused by the infectious agent.

(3) For the purposes of clauses 32(3)(g) and (h) and 38(1)(d) of the Act and subsection 39(6) of the Act, a physician is acceptable to the medical officer if the physician is designated by the medical officer as having the appropriate qualifications to meet the specific objective.

Powers and duties of medical officer
3 (1) A medical officer must investigate every report of a communicable disease to determine whether a communicable disease exists.

(2) A medical officer who knows of, or has reason to suspect the existence of, a communicable disease within the locality in which the medical officer has jurisdiction may initiate an investigation to determine whether any action is necessary to protect the public health.

(3) If an investigation under subsection (1) or (2) confirms the presence of a communicable disease and the medical officer determines that it is necessary to take action to protect the public health with respect to the disease, the medical officer must ensure that specific control measures for the disease are taken in accordance with the Manual to

(a) suppress the disease in those who may already be infected with it;

(b) protect those who have not already been exposed to the disease;

(c) prevent the transmission of the disease; and

(d) identify and remove the source of the disease.

(4) An illness that is suspected by a medical officer to be a communicable disease must be referred to and dealt with by the medical officer as if it were a communicable disease until the suspicion is disproved.

(5) Nothing in this Section limits the powers and duties of a medical officer that are prescribed in the Act.

Medical officer may require laboratory director to transmit sample
4 A medical officer may require that a director of a laboratory transmit to the public health laboratory any sample, specimen or culture that the medical officer considers necessary for the investigation of a communicable disease or outbreak.

Medical officer may require person to give information
5 (1) If a medical officer believes that a person has been or is engaging in an activity that may result in the transmission of a communicable disease, the medical officer may instruct that person in writing to provide the medical officer with any information respecting the activity.

(2) In order to determine the existence of a communicable disease, a medical officer may require any information concerning the disease, including the sources or suspected sources of the disease and the names and addresses of any persons who may have been exposed to or become infected with the disease, from any person who is reasonably suspected of knowing the information.

Medical officer may restrict person from certain settings
6 If a medical officer has reason to believe that a person has or may have a communicable disease, the medical officer may restrict the person from being in settings where they may place others at risk of infection.

Medical officer may prohibit admission to school, institution, workplace or day care
7 A medical officer may prohibit a principal of a public school, an operator of a private school under the Education Act, an administrator of an institution, an employer or a director of a day care facility from admitting any person who has a communicable disease or has been in contact with a communicable disease until the medical officer authorizes their admission.

Medical officer may prohibit public gatherings
8 In addition to the requirements that a medical officer may include in an order under clause 32(3)(a) of the Act, a medical officer may prohibit public gatherings for the purpose of controlling the transmission of a communicable disease for such period of time as the medical officer believes to be necessary or advisable.

Procedure for medical officer upon learning of outbreak
9 Upon learning of an outbreak, a medical officer must inquire into the causes and circumstances of the outbreak, and if the medical officer is not satisfied that all due precautions are being taken, the medical officer must advise the persons competent to act of the measures that the medical officer believes to be necessary or advisable to prevent the transmission of the disease, and must assist with the preventative measures.

Duties of physician
10 (1) If a person who is under a physicianís care and treatment for a communicable disease refuses or neglects to continue the treatment in a manner and to a degree satisfactory to the physician, the physician must report the person to the medical officer who has jurisdiction in the personís locality.

(2) Immediately upon discovering an occurrence of a communicable disease, a physician must take steps to prevent the transmission of the communicable disease to others and must take such action as is required by these regulations.

Duty of person with communicable disease, carrier or contact
11 At the request of a medical officer, a person with a communicable disease, a carrier or a contact must notify the medical officer of the identity of any contacts and provide any other relevant information required by the medical officer.

Identification and notification of contacts in accordance with Manual and guidelines
12 The identification and notification of contacts must be done in accordance with the Manual and any contact notification guidelines that are adopted by the Chief Medical Officer.

13 (1) A person must not interfere with or obstruct a medical officer or their delegate in displaying or requiring the display of signage on a premises in accordance with an order made under Section 32 of the Act.

(2) A person must not remove, conceal or mutilate signage without authority from a medical officer.

(3) If signage is removed, concealed or mutilated without authority from a medical officer, the occupant or owner of the premises where the signage was displayed must notify a medical officer without delay.

Immunization programs
14 The Minister may provide active or passive immunizing agents free of charge for the prevention, treatment or modification of communicable diseases, and determine

(a) which the immunizing agents are to be provided free of charge;

(b) the persons eligible to receive the immunizing agents free of charge;

(c) the conditions under which the immunizing agents are provided and administered; and

(d) the method of distributing the immunizing agents and the health practitioners to whom they are provided.