Infectious Disease Preparedness Plan

Local Health Officers

As shown in Wisconsin statute chapter 252 and Wisconsin Administrative code chapter HFS 145, the authority of local health officers is extremely broad.  Wisconsin Statute 252.03 states:  “(1) The local health officer shall promptly take all measures necessary to prevent, suppress and control, communicable diseases and the measures used against them…(2) Local health officers may do what is reasonable and necessary for the prevention and suppression of disease; may forbid public gatherings when deemed necessary to control outbreaks or epidemics and shall advise the department of measures taken…The diagnostic report of the 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.”

Wisconsin Statute 252.06 (6) provides:  “(a) 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.”  HFS 145.06 permits the State’s Chief Medical Officer to take action against any infectious disease posing a threat to citizens of the state and describes the procedure for failure to comply with a directive of a local health officer.  Procedures outlined in HFS 145.06 include these requirements:  “(f) Reside part-time or full-time in an isolated or segregated setting which decreases the danger of transmission of the communicable disease” and “(g) Be placed in appropriate institutional treatment facility until the person has become non-infectious.”