Texas Health and Safety Code § 81.083. Application of Control Measures to Individual

(a) Any person, including a physician, who examines or treats an individual who has a communicable disease shall instruct the individual about:

(1) measures for preventing reinfection and spread of the disease;  and

(2) the necessity for treatment until the individual is cured or free from the infection.

(b) If the department or a health authority has reasonable cause to believe that an individual is ill with, has been exposed to, or is the carrier of a communicable disease, the department or health authority may order the individual, or the individual's parent, legal guardian, or managing conservator if the individual is a minor, to implement control measures that are reasonable and necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, and spread of the disease in this state.

(c) An order under this section must be in writing and be delivered personally or by registered or certified mail to the individual or to the individual's parent, legal guardian, or managing conservator if the individual is a minor.

(d) An order under this section is effective until the individual is no longer infected with a communicable disease or, in the case of a suspected disease, expiration of the longest usual incubation period for the disease.

(e) An individual may be subject to court orders under Subchapter G   1 if the individual is infected or is reasonably suspected of being infected with a communicable disease that presents an immediate threat to the public health and:

(1) the individual, or the individual's parent, legal guardian, or managing conservator if the individual is a minor, does not comply with the written orders of the department or a health authority under this section;  or

(2) a public health disaster exists, regardless of whether the department or health authority has issued a written order and the individual has indicated that the individual will not voluntarily comply with control measures.

(f) An individual who is the subject of court orders under Subchapter G shall pay the expense of the required medical care and treatment except as provided by Subsections (g)-(i).

(g) A county or hospital district shall pay the medical expenses of a resident of the county or hospital district who is:

(1) indigent and without the financial means to pay for part or all of the required medical care or treatment;  and

(2) not eligible for benefits under an insurance contract, group policy, or prepaid health plan, or benefits provided by a federal, state, county, or municipal medical assistance program or facility.

(h) The state may pay the medical expenses of a nonresident individual who is:

(1) indigent and without the financial means to pay for part or all of the required medical care and treatment;  and

(2) not eligible for benefits under an insurance contract, group policy, or prepaid health plan, or benefits provided by a federal, state, county, or municipal medical assistance program.

(i) The provider of the medical care and treatment under Subsection (h) shall certify the reasonable amount of the required medical care to the comptroller.  The comptroller shall issue a warrant to the provider of the medical care and treatment for the certified amount.

(j) The department may:

(1) return a nonresident individual involuntarily hospitalized in this state to the program agency in the state in which the individual resides;  and

(2) enter into reciprocal agreements with the proper agencies of other states to facilitate the return of individuals involuntarily hospitalized in this state.

(k) If the department or a health authority has reasonable cause to believe that a group of five or more individuals has been exposed to or infected with a communicable disease, the department or health authority may order the members of the group to implement control measures that are reasonable and necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, and spread of the disease in this state.  If the department or health authority adopts control measures under this subsection, each member of the group is subject to the requirements of this section.

(l) An order under Subsection (k) must be in writing and be delivered personally or by registered or certified mail to each member of the group, or the member's parent, legal guardian, or managing conservator if the member is a minor.  If the name, address, and county of residence of any member of the group is unknown at the time the order is issued, the department or health authority must publish notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county that includes the area of the suspected exposure and any other county in which the department or health authority suspects a member of the group resides.  The notice must contain the following information:

(1) that the department or health authority has reasonable cause to believe that a group of individuals is ill with, has been exposed to, or is the carrier of a communicable disease;

(2) the suspected time and place of exposure to the disease;

(3) a copy of any orders under Subsection (k);

(4) instructions to an individual to provide the individual's name, address, and county of residence to the department or health authority if the individual knows or reasonably suspects that the individual was at the place of the suspected exposure at the time of the suspected exposure;

(5) that the department or health authority may request that an application for court orders under Subchapter G be filed for the group, if applicable;  and

(6) that a criminal penalty applies to an individual who:

(A) is a member of the group;  and

(B) knowingly refuses to perform or allow the performance of the control measures in the order.

(m) A peace officer, including a sheriff or constable, may use reasonable force to:

(1) secure the members of a group subject to an order issued under Subsection (k);  and

(2) except as directed by the department or health authority, prevent the members from leaving the group or other individuals from joining the group.

1 V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 81.151 et seq.

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