New Jersey Statutes Title 26. Health and Vital Statistics 26 § 13-15

The following isolation and quarantine procedures shall be in effect during a state of public health emergency:

a. The commissioner may exercise, for such period as the state of public health emergency exists, the following emergency powers over persons:

(1) to designate, including an individual's home when appropriate, and establish and maintain suitable places of isolation and quarantine;

(2) to issue and enforce orders for the isolation or quarantine of individuals subject to the procedures specified in this section;  and

(3) to require isolation or quarantine of any person by the least restrictive means necessary to protect the public health, subject to the other provisions of this section.  All reasonable means shall be taken to prevent the transmission of infection among the isolated or quarantined individuals, as well as among the personnel maintaining and caring for individuals in isolation or quarantine.

b. The following standards shall apply for quarantine or isolation.

(1) Persons shall be isolated or quarantined if it is determined by a preponderance of the evidence that the person to be isolated or quarantined poses a risk of transmitting an infectious disease to others.  A person's refusal to accept medical examination, vaccination, or treatment pursuant to section 13 or 14 of this act   1 shall constitute prima facie evidence that the person should be quarantined or isolated.

(2) Isolation or quarantine of any person shall be terminated by the commissioner when the person no longer poses a risk of transmitting an infectious disease to others.

c. (1) To the extent possible, the premises in which persons are isolated or quarantined shall be maintained in a safe and hygienic manner, designed to minimize the likelihood of further transmission of infection or other harm to persons subject to isolation or quarantine.  Adequate food, clothing, medication, means of communication, other necessities and competent medical care shall be provided.

(2) An isolated person shall be confined separately from a quarantined person, unless otherwise determined by the commissioner.

(3) The health status of isolated and quarantined persons shall be monitored regularly to determine if their status should change.  If a quarantined person subsequently becomes infected or is reasonably believed to have become infected with a contagious or possibly contagious disease, the person shall promptly be moved to isolation.

d. (1) A person subject to isolation or quarantine shall obey the commissioner's orders, shall not go beyond the isolation or quarantine premises, and shall not put himself in contact with any person not subject to isolation or quarantine other than a physician or other health care provider, or person authorized to enter the isolation or quarantine premises by the commissioner.

(2) No person, other than a person authorized by the commissioner, may enter the isolation or quarantine premises.  Any person entering an isolation or quarantine premises may be isolated or quarantined.

e. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, the commissioner shall petition the Superior Court for an order authorizing the isolation or quarantine of a person or groups of persons.

(2) A petition pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall specify the following:

(a) the identity of the person or group of persons, by name or shared characteristics, subject to isolation or quarantine;

(b) the premises designated for isolation or quarantine;

(c) the date and time at which the commissioner requests isolation or quarantine to commence;

(d) the suspected contagious disease, if known;

(e) a statement of the terms and conditions of isolation and quarantine;

(f) a statement of the basis upon which isolation or quarantine is justified;  and

(g) a statement of what effort, if any, has been made to give notice of the hearing to the person or group of persons to be isolated or quarantined, or the reason supporting the claim that notice should not be required.

(3) Except as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, before isolating or quarantining a person, the commissioner shall obtain a written order, which may be an ex parte order, from the Superior Court authorizing such action.  The order shall be requested as part of a petition filed in compliance with paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection.  The court shall grant an order upon finding by a preponderance of the evidence that isolation or quarantine is warranted pursuant to the provisions of this section.  A copy of the authorizing order shall be provided to the person ordered to be isolated or quarantined, along with notification that the person has a right to a hearing pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subsection.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection to the contrary, the commissioner may issue a verbal order, to be followed by a written order requiring the immediate, temporary isolation or quarantine of a person or group of persons, including those persons who have entered an isolation or quarantine premises, without first obtaining an order from the court if the commissioner determines that any delay in the isolation or quarantine of the person would significantly jeopardize the ability to prevent or limit the transmission of infectious or possibly infectious disease to others.  The commissioner's written order shall specify:

(a) the identity of the person or group of persons, by name or shared characteristics, subject to isolation or quarantine;

(b) the premises designated for isolation or quarantine;

(c) the date and time at which the isolation or quarantine commences;

(d) the suspected contagious disease, if known;

(e) a statement of the terms and conditions of isolation and quarantine;

(f) a statement of the basis upon which isolation or quarantine is justified;  and

(g) the availability of a hearing to contest the order.

The commissioner shall provide notice of the order for isolation or quarantine upon the person or group of persons specified in the order.  If the commissioner determines that service of the notice required is impractical because of the number of persons or geographical areas affected, or other good cause, the commissioner shall ensure that the affected persons are fully informed of the order using the best possible means available.  A copy of the order shall also be posted in a conspicuous place in the isolation or quarantine premises.

Following the issuance of the commissioner's order directing isolation or quarantine, the commissioner shall file a petition pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection as soon as possible, but not later than 72 hours thereafter.

(5) The court shall grant a hearing within 72 hours of the filing of a petition when a person has been isolated or quarantined pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4) of this subsection.  In any proceedings brought for relief under this subsection, the court may extend the time for a hearing upon a showing by the commissioner that extraordinary circumstances exist that justify the extension.

(6) The court may order consolidation of individual claims into a group of claims where:

(a) the number of persons involved or to be affected is so large as to render individual participation impractical;

(b) there are questions of law or fact common to the individual claims or rights to be determined;

(c) the group claims or rights to be determined are typical of the affected individuals' claims or rights;  and

(d) the entire group will be adequately represented in the consolidation, giving due regard to the rights of affected individuals.

f. (1) Following a hearing as provided for in paragraph (5) of subsection e. of this section, on or after a period of time of no less than 10 days but not more than 21 days, as determined by the commissioner based on the generally recognized incubation period of the infectious disease warranting the isolation or quarantine, a person isolated or quarantined pursuant to the provisions of this section may request a court hearing to contest his continued isolation or quarantine.  The court may proceed in a summary manner.

The hearing shall be held within 72 hours of receipt of the request, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.  A request for a hearing shall not act to stay the order of isolation or quarantine.  At the hearing, the commissioner must show by a preponderance of the evidence that continuation of the isolation or quarantine is warranted because the person poses a significant risk of transmitting a disease to others with serious consequences.

(2) A person isolated or quarantined pursuant to the provisions of this section may request at any time a hearing in the Superior Court for injunctive relief regarding his treatment and the terms and conditions of the quarantine or isolation.  Upon receiving a request for either type of hearing described in this paragraph, the court shall fix a date for a hearing.  The court may proceed in a summary manner.  The hearing shall be held no later than 10 days after the receipt of the request by the court.  A request for a hearing shall not act to stay the order of isolation or quarantine.

(3) If, upon a hearing, the court finds that the isolation or quarantine of the individual is not warranted under the provisions of this section, then the person shall be immediately released from isolation or quarantine.  If the court finds that the isolation or quarantine of the person is not in compliance with the provisions of subsection c. of this section, the court may fashion remedies appropriate to the circumstances of the state of public health emergency and in keeping with the provisions of this section.

g. (1) The petitioner shall have the right to be represented by counsel.

(2) The manner in which the request for a hearing under this section is filed and acted upon shall be in accordance with the Rules of Court.

1 N.J.S.A. §§ 26:13-13 or 26:13-14.

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