See also chs. DHS 144
, Wis. adm. code.
Compulsory vaccination during a state of emergency. 252.041(1)(1)
Except as provided in sub. (2)
, during the period under which the department is designated as the lead state agency, as specified in s. 250.042 (2)
, the department, as the public health authority, may do all of the following as necessary to address a public health emergency:
Order any individual to receive a vaccination unless the vaccination is reasonably likely to lead to serious harm to the individual or unless the individual, for reasons of religion or conscience, refuses to obtain the vaccination.
Isolate or quarantine, under s. 252.06
, any individual who is unable or unwilling for reasons specified under par. (a)
to receive vaccination under par. (a)
The department shall promulgate rules that specify circumstances, if any, under which vaccination may not be performed on an individual.
History: 2001 a. 109
; s. 35.17 correction in (1) (b).
Reports of cases. 252.05(1)(1)
Any health care provider, as defined in s. 146.81 (1) (a)
, who knows or has reason to believe that a person treated or visited by him or her has a communicable disease, or having a communicable disease, has died, shall report the appearance of the communicable disease or the death to the local health officer. The health agency of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or band may report this information to the local health officer. The local health officer shall report this information to the department or shall direct the person reporting to report to the department. Any person directed to report shall submit this information to the department.
Each laboratory shall report as prescribed by the department those specimen results that indicate that an individual providing the specimen has a communicable disease, or having a communicable disease, has died, or that the department finds necessary for the surveillance, control, diagnosis, and prevention of communicable diseases.
Anyone having knowledge or reason to believe that any person has a communicable disease shall report the facts to the local health officer or to the department.
Reports under subs. (1)
shall state so far as known the name, sex, age, and residence of the person, the communicable disease and other facts the department or local health officer requires. Report forms, including forms appropriate for reporting under s. 95.22
, may be furnished by the department and distributed by the local health officer.
All reports shall be made within 24 hours, unless otherwise specified by the department, by telephone, telegraph, mail or electronic means or by deposit at the office of the local health officer.
Any local health officer, upon receiving a report, shall cause a permanent record of the report to be made and upon demand of the department transmit the original or a copy to the department, together with other information the department requires. The department may store these records as paper or electronic records and shall treat them as patient health care records under ss. 146.81
When an outbreak or epidemic occurs, the local health officer shall immediately report to the department, and shall at all times keep the department informed of the prevalence of the communicable diseases in the locality in the manner and with the facts the department requires.
The department shall print and distribute, without charge, to all local health departments and, upon request, to health care providers and facilities a chart that provides information about communicable diseases.
Any person licensed, permitted, registered or certified under ch. 441
shall use ordinary skill in determining the presence of communicable diseases. If there is a dispute regarding disease determination, if the disease may have potential public health significance or if more extensive laboratory tests will aid in the investigation, the local health officer shall order the tests made by the state laboratory of hygiene or by a laboratory certified under 42 USC 263a
If a violation of this section is reported to a district attorney by a local health officer or by the department, the district attorney shall forthwith prosecute the proper action, and upon request of the department, the attorney general shall assist.
Isolation and quarantine. 252.06(1)(1)
The department or the local health officer acting on behalf of the department may require isolation of a patient or of an individual under s. 252.041 (1) (b)
, quarantine of contacts, concurrent and terminal disinfection, or modified forms of these procedures as may be necessary and as are determined by the department by rule.
If a local health officer suspects or is informed of the existence of any communicable disease, the officer shall at once investigate and make or cause such examinations to be made as are necessary. The diagnostic report of a physician, the notification or confirmatory report of a parent or caretaker of the patient, or a reasonable belief in the existence of a communicable disease shall require the local health officer immediately to quarantine, isolate, require restrictions or take other communicable disease control measures in the manner, upon the persons and for the time specified in rules promulgated by the department. If the local health officer is not a physician, he or she shall consult a physician as speedily as possible where there is reasonable doubt or disagreement in diagnosis and where advice is needed. The local health officer shall investigate evasion of the laws and rules concerning communicable disease and shall act to protect the public.
If deemed necessary by the department or a local health officer for a particular communicable disease, all persons except the local health officer, his or her representative, attending physicians and nurses, members of the clergy, the members of the immediate family and any other person having a special written permit from the local health officer are forbidden to be in direct contact with the patient.
No person, other than a person authorized by the public health authority or agent of the public health authority, may enter an isolation or quarantine premises.
A violation of subd. 1.
is subject to a fine not to exceed $10,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 9 months, or both.
Any person, whether authorized under subd. 1.
or not, who enters an isolation or quarantine premises may be subject to isolation or quarantine under this section.
The local health officer shall employ as many persons as are necessary to execute his or her orders and properly guard any place if quarantine or other restrictions on communicable disease are violated or intent to violate is manifested. These persons shall be sworn in as quarantine guards, shall have police powers, and may use all necessary means to enforce the state laws for the prevention and control of communicable diseases, or the orders and rules of the department or any local health officer.
When the local health officer deems it necessary that a person be quarantined or otherwise restricted in a separate place, the officer shall remove the person, if it can be done without danger to the person's health, to this place.
When a person confined in a jail, state prison, mental health institute or other public place of detention has a disease which the local health officer or the director of health at the institution deems dangerous to the health of other residents or the neighborhood, the local health officer or the director of health at the institution shall order in writing the removal of the person to a hospital or other place of safety, there to be provided for and securely kept. Upon recovery the person shall be returned; and if the person was committed by a court or under process the removal order or a copy shall be returned by the local health officer to the committing court officer.
Expenses for necessary medical care, food and other articles needed for the care of the infected person shall be charged against the person or whoever is liable for the person's support.
The county or municipality in which a person with a communicable disease resides is liable for the following costs accruing under this section, unless the costs are payable through 3rd-party liability or through any benefit system:
The expense of maintaining quarantine and enforcing isolation of the quarantined area.
The expense of conducting examinations and tests for disease carriers made under the direction of the local health officer.
All expenses incurred by a local health department, or by an entity designated as a local health department by a federally recognized American Indian tribe or band in this state, in quarantining a person outside his or her home during a state of emergency related to public health declared by the governor under s. 323.10
and not reimbursed from federal funds shall be paid for under either of the following, as appropriate:
NOTE: 2003 Wis. Act 186
, which affected this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
See also ch. DHS 145
, Wis. adm. code.
Due Process in the Time of Coronavirus. Killoran & Wittenberg. Wis. Law. Apr. 2020.
“Infectious tuberculosis" means tuberculosis disease of the respiratory tract, capable of producing infection or disease in others as demonstrated by the presence of acid-fast bacilli in the sputum or bronchial secretions or by chest radiograph and clinical findings.
“Isolate" means a population of mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that has been obtained in pure culture medium.
“Isolation" means the separation from other persons of a person with infectious tuberculosis in a place and under conditions that prevent the transmission of the infection.
“Suspect tuberculosis" means an illness marked by symptoms and laboratory tests that may be indicative of tuberculosis, such as a prolonged cough, prolonged fever, hemoptysis, compatible roentgenographic findings or other appropriate medical imaging findings.
Infectious tuberculosis and suspect tuberculosis are subject to the reporting requirements specified in s. 252.05
. Any laboratory that receives a specimen for tuberculosis testing shall report all positive results obtained by any appropriate procedure, including a procedure performed by an out-of-state laboratory, to the local health officer and to the department.
Any laboratory that performs primary culture for mycobacteria shall also perform organism identification for mycobacterium tuberculosis complex using an approved rapid testing procedure specified by the department by rule.
Any laboratory that identifies mycobacterium tuberculosis shall ensure that antimicrobial drug susceptibility tests are performed on the initial isolate. The laboratory shall report the results of these tests to the local health officer and the department.
The department shall identify groups at risk for contracting or transmitting mycobacterium tuberculosis and shall recommend the protocol for screening members of those groups.
Upon report of any person under sub. (1m)
, the local health officer shall at once investigate and make and enforce the necessary orders. If any person does not voluntarily comply with any order made by the local health officer with respect to that person, the local health officer or the department may order a medical evaluation, directly observed therapy or home isolation of that person.
The department or a local health officer may order the confinement to a facility of an individual who has a confirmed diagnosis of infectious tuberculosis or suspect tuberculosis if all of the following conditions are met:
The department or local health officer notifies a court in writing of the confinement.
The department or local health officer provides to the court a written statement from a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse prescriber that the individual has infectious tuberculosis or suspect tuberculosis.
The department or local health officer provides to the court evidence that the individual has refused to follow a prescribed treatment regimen or, in the case of an individual with suspect tuberculosis, has refused to undergo a medical examination to confirm whether the individual has infectious tuberculosis.
In the case of an individual with a confirmed diagnosis of infectious tuberculosis, the department or local health officer determines that the individual poses an imminent and substantial threat to himself or herself or to the public health. The department or local health officer shall provide to the court a written statement of that determination.
If the department or local health officer orders the confinement of an individual under this subsection, a law enforcement officer, or other person authorized by the local public health officer, shall transport the individual, if necessary, to a facility that the department or local health officer determines will meet the individual's need for medical evaluation, isolation and treatment.
No individual may be confined under this subsection for more than 72 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, without a court hearing under sub. (9)
to determine whether the confinement should continue.
The department or a local health officer may petition any court for a hearing to determine whether an individual with infectious or suspect tuberculosis should be confined for longer than 72 hours in a facility where proper care and treatment will be provided and spread of the disease will be prevented. The department or local health officer shall include in the petition documentation that demonstrates all of the following:
That the individual named in the petition has infectious tuberculosis; that the individual has noninfectious tuberculosis but is at high risk of developing infectious tuberculosis; or that the individual has suspect tuberculosis.
That the individual has failed to comply with the prescribed treatment regimen or with any rules promulgated by the department under sub. (11)
; or that the disease is resistant to the medication prescribed to the individual.
That all other reasonable means of achieving voluntary compliance with treatment have been exhausted and no less restrictive alternative exists; or that no other medication to treat the resistant disease is available.
That the individual poses an imminent and substantial threat to himself or herself or to the public health.
The department or local health officer shall give the individual written notice of a hearing at least 48 hours before a scheduled hearing is to be held. Notice of the hearing shall include all of the following information:
The grounds, and underlying facts, upon which confinement of the individual is being sought.
An explanation of the individual's rights specified under par. (d)
The proposed actions to be taken and the reasons for each action.
If the court orders confinement of an individual under this subsection, the individual shall remain confined until the department or local health officer, with the concurrence of a treating physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse prescriber, determines that treatment is complete or that the individual is no longer a substantial threat to himself or herself or to the public health. If the individual is to be confined for more than 6 months, the court shall review the confinement every 6 months.
An individual who is the subject of a petition for a hearing under this subsection has the right to appear at the hearing, the right to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses and the right to be represented by adversary counsel. At the time of the filing of the petition the court shall assure that the individual who is the subject of the petition is represented by adversary counsel. If the individual claims or appears to be indigent, the court shall refer the individual to the authority for indigency determinations specified under s. 977.07 (1)
. If the individual is a child, the court shall refer that child to the state public defender who shall appoint counsel for the child without a determination of indigency, as provided in s. 48.23 (4)
. Unless good cause is shown, a hearing under this subsection may be conducted by telephone or live audiovisual means, if available.
An order issued by the court under this subsection may be appealed as a matter of right. An appeal shall be heard within 30 days after the appeal is filed. An appeal does not stay the order.
Inpatient care for isolated pulmonary tuberculosis patients, and inpatient care exceeding 30 days for other pulmonary tuberculosis patients, who are not eligible for federal medicare benefits, for medical assistance under subch. IV of ch. 49
or for health care services funded by a relief block grant under subch. II of ch. 49
may be reimbursed if provided by a facility contracted by the department. If the patient has private health insurance, the state shall pay the difference between health insurance payments and total charges.
The department may promulgate any rules necessary for the administration and enforcement of this section, including, if necessary to prevent or control the transmission of mycobacterium tuberculosis, rules that require screening of members of specific groups that are at risk for contracting or transmitting mycobacterium tuberculosis.
From the appropriation account under s. 20.435 (1) (e)
, the department may expend not more than $81,100 annually to fund targeted prevention activities for populations at high risk for tuberculosis infection.
The commonly accepted meanings of “facility" and “confined" indicate that the legislature intended jail to be a permissible placement option under sub. (9) (a) for persons with noninfectious tuberculosis who are noncompliant with a prescribed treatment regimen, provided that no less restrictive alternative exists. If conditions at a particular jail are such that proper care and treatment would be unavailable, or contrary to the prevention of the spread of the disease, jail is not authorized under sub. (9) (a). Whether a facility meets these requirements is a fact-intensive question addressed to the circuit court's discretion. City of Milwaukee v. Washington, 2007 WI 104
, 304 Wis. 2d 98
, 735 N.W.2d 111
The “no less restrictive alternative" requirement under sub. (9) (a) 3. applies to the place of confinement as well as the fact of confinement. A court must determine that the place of confinement is a facility where proper care and treatment will be provided, spread of the disease will be prevented, and no less restrictive alternative to the proposed placement exists. If after this analysis two or more placement options remain, a court may consider cost as a factor in making its determination. City of Milwaukee v. Washington, 2007 WI 104
, 304 Wis. 2d 98
, 735 N.W.2d 111
Meningococcal disease and hepatitis B. 252.09(1)(1)
Each private college and university in this state shall do all of the following:
Annually, provide detailed information on the risks associated with meningococcal disease and hepatitis B and the availability and effectiveness of vaccines against the diseases to each enrolled student, if he or she is at least 18 years old, or to the student's parent or guardian, if the student is a minor.
Require a student who resides in a dormitory or residence hall, or the student's parent or guardian if the student is a minor, to affirm that the student received the information under par. (a)