Colorado Revised Statutes Title 24. Government State § 24-33.5-704.5. Governor's expert emergency epidemic response committee--creation

(1) (a) There is hereby created a governor's expert emergency epidemic response committee.  The committee shall:

(I) Meet at least annually to review and amend, as necessary, the supplement to the state comprehensive emergency management program created in section 24-33.5-705(2) that is concerned with the public health response to acts of bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, and epidemics caused by novel and highly fatal infectious agents;  and

(II) Provide expert public health advice to the governor in the event of an emergency epidemic.

(b)(I) State members of the committee include:

(A) The executive director of the department of public health and environment;

(B) The chief medical officer of the department of public health and environment;

(C) The chief public information officer of the department of public health and environment;

(D) The emergency response coordinator for the department of public health and environment;

(E) The state epidemiologist for the department of public health and environment;

(F) The attorney general or the attorney general's designee;

(G) The president of the state board of health or the president's designee;

(H) The president of the state medical society or the president's designee;

(I) The president of the Colorado health and hospital association or the president's designee;

(J) The state veterinarian of the department of agriculture;

(K) The director of the division of homeland security and emergency management;  and

(L) The executive director of the department of local affairs or the executive director's designee.

(II) In addition to the state members of the committee, the governor shall appoint to the committee an individual from each of the following categories:

(A) A licensed physician who specializes in infectious diseases;

(B) A licensed physician who specializes in emergency medicine;

(C) A medical examiner;

(D) A specialist in post-traumatic stress management;

(E) A director of a county, district, or municipal public health agency;

(F) A hospital infection control practitioner;

(G) A wildlife disease specialist with the division of wildlife;  and

(H) A pharmacist member of the state board of pharmacy.

(III) The executive director of the department of public health and environment shall serve as the chair of the committee.  A majority of the membership of the committee, not including vacant positions, constitutes a quorum.

(IV) The executive director of the department of public safety or the executive director's designee shall serve as an ex officio member of the committee and is not able to vote on decisions of the committee.  He or she shall serve as a liaison between the committee and the emergency planning subcommittee of the homeland security and all-hazards senior advisory committee created in section 24-33.5-1614(3.5) in the event of an emergency epidemic.

(c) The committee shall include in the supplement to the state disaster plan a proposal for the prioritization, allocation, storage, protection, and distribution of antibiotic medicines, antiviral medicines, antidotes, and vaccines that may be needed and in short supply in the event of an emergency epidemic.

(d) The committee shall convene at the call of the governor or the executive director of the department of public health and environment to consider evidence presented by the department's chief medical officer or state epidemiologist that there is an occurrence or imminent threat of an emergency epidemic.  If the committee finds that there is an occurrence or imminent threat of an emergency epidemic, the executive director of the department of public health and environment shall advise the governor to declare a disaster emergency.

(e) In the event of an emergency epidemic that has been declared a disaster emergency, the committee shall convene as rapidly and as often as necessary to advise the governor, who shall act by executive order, regarding reasonable and appropriate measures to reduce or prevent spread of the disease, agent, or toxin and to protect the public health.  Such measures may include:

(I) Procuring or taking supplies of medicines and vaccines;

(II) Ordering physicians and hospitals to transfer or cease admission of patients or perform medical examinations of persons;

(III) Isolating or quarantining persons or property;

(IV) Determining whether to seize, destroy, or decontaminate property or objects that may threaten the public health;

(V) Determining how to safely dispose of corpses and infectious waste;

(VI) Assessing the adequacy and potential contamination of food and water supplies;

(VII) Providing mental health support to affected persons;  and

(VIII) Informing the citizens of the state how to protect themselves, what actions are being taken to control the epidemic, and when the epidemic is over.

(2) Each department that administers a publicly funded safety net program shall develop a continuity of operations plan.  The plan shall establish procedures for the response by, and continuation of operations of, the department and the program in the event of an emergency epidemic.  Each department shall file its plan with the executive director of the department of public health and environment and shall update the plan at least annually.  In addition, notwithstanding section 24-1-136(11) , each department shall submit a report by March 1 of each year to the health and human services committee of the senate and the public health care and human services committee of the house of representatives, or any successor committees, regarding the status of the department's plan, as well as the status of any other plans or procedures of the department regarding emergency and disaster preparedness.


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