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RULE §97.6Reporting and Other Duties of Local Health Authorities and Regional Directors

(a) The purpose of this section is to provide procedures for local health authorities and regional directors to report a disease to the Department of State Health Services (department) central office.

(b) Those notifiable conditions identified as public health emergencies in §97.4(a) of this title (relating to When to Report a Condition or Isolate) shall be reported immediately to the department by telephone at (888) 963-7111.

(c) AIDS, chancroid, Chlamydia trachomatis infection, gonorrhea, HIV infection and syphilis shall be reported in accordance with Subchapter F of this chapter (relating to Sexually Transmitted Diseases Including Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)).

(d) For notifiable conditions not listed in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the local health authority or the department's regional director shall collect reports of disease and transmit the information listed in §97.3(a)(3) of this title (relating to What Condition to Report and What Isolates to Report or Submit) at weekly intervals as directed by the department.

(e) Transmittal may be by telephone, mail, courier, or electronic transmission.

  (1) If by mail or courier, the reports shall be on a form provided by the department and placed in a sealed envelope addressed to the attention of the appropriate receiving source and marked "Confidential."

  (2) Any electronic transmission of the reports must provide at least the same degree of protection against unauthorized disclosure as those of mail or courier transmittal.

(f) The health authority shall notify health authorities in other jurisdictions of a case or outbreak of a communicable disease that has been reported if the case resides in another jurisdiction or there is cause to believe transmission of a disease may have occurred in another jurisdiction. The department shall assist the health authority in providing such notifications upon request. The health authority of the area where the case or outbreak is diagnosed shall report the case or outbreak to the department on the same basis as other reports.

(g) The health authority upon identification of a case or upon receipt of notification or report of disease shall take such action and measures as may be necessary to conform with the appropriate control measure standards. The health authority may upon identification of a case or upon report of a communicable disease in a child attending a public or private child-care facility or a school notify the owner or operator of the child-care facility or the school administrator. The commissioner is authorized to amend, revise, or revoke any control measure or action taken by the health authority if necessary or desirable in the administration of a regional or statewide public health program or policy.

(h) The health authority is empowered to close any public or private child-care facility, school or other place of public or private assembly when in his or her opinion such closing is necessary to protect the public health; and such school or other place of public or private assembly shall not reopen until permitted by the health authority who caused its closure.

(i) Persons reporting notifiable conditions in animals shall be referred to the central office or the appropriate regional office of the department's Zoonosis Control Branch.

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.6 adopted to be effective March 16, 1994, 19 TexReg 1453; amended to be effective January 1, 1999, 23 TexReg 12663; amended to be effective December 20, 2000, 25 TexReg 12426; amended to be effective August 5, 2001, 26 TexReg 5658; amended to be effective June 5, 2007, 32 TexReg 2997; amended to be effective December 20, 2012, 37 TexReg 9777; amended to be effective April 3, 2016, 41 TexReg 2317

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