Who has the authority to issue and enforce isolation and quarantine orders?

Each county’s Local Health Officer, as well as the State Health Officer at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, has the authority to issue isolation and quarantine orders. For the most part, people will isolate and quarantine themselves without written orders. However, if someone violates a mandatory isolation or quarantine, a written order may be needed. Local law enforcement may be enlisted to help enforce an isolation or quarantine order.

65-101. Health supervision; investigation of causes of disease, sickness and death; sanitation inspections; prevention of spread of disease; outreach services; rules and regulations; injunction. (a) The secretary of health and environment shall exercise general supervision of the health of the people of the state and may:

(1) Where authorized by any other statute, require reports from appropriate persons relating to the health of the people of the state so a determination of the causes of sickness and death among the people of the state may be made through the use of these reports and other records;

(2) investigate the causes of disease, including especially, epidemics and endemics, the causes of mortality and effects of locality, employments, conditions, food, water supply, habits and other circumstances affecting the health of the people of this state and the causes of sickness and death;

(3) advise other offices and agencies of government concerning location, drainage, water supply, disposal of excreta and heating and ventilation of public buildings;

(4) make sanitary inspection and survey of such places and localities as the secretary deems advisable;

(5) take action to prevent the introduction of infectious or contagious disease into this state and to prevent the spread of infectious or contagious disease within this state;

(6) provide public health outreach services to the people of the state including educational and other activities designed to increase the individual’s awareness and appropriate use of public and other preventive health services.

(b) The secretary of health and environment may adopt rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of paragraphs (1) through (6), inclusive, of subsection (a). In addition to other remedies provided by law, the secretary is authorized to apply to the district court, and such court shall have jurisdiction upon a hearing and for cause shown to grant a temporary or permanent injunction to compel compliance with such rules and regulations.

65-126. Quarantine of city, township or county. Whenever the county or joint board of health or the local health officer neglects to properly isolate and quarantine infectious or contagious diseases and persons afflicted with or exposed to such diseases as may be necessary to prevent the spread thereof, the secretary of health and environment may quarantine any area in which any of these diseases may show a tendency to become epidemic.

65-127. Penalty provision. Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of K.S.A. 65-118, 65-119, 65-122, 65-123 and 65-126, and any amendments thereto, or failing to comply with any requirements thereof shall be fined, upon conviction, not less than twenty-five dollars ($25) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense.

65-119. Duties and powers of local health officers; contagious diseases; confidentiality of information; disclosure, when. (a) Any county or joint board of health or local health officer having knowledge of any infectious or contagious disease, or of a death from such disease, within their jurisdiction, shall immediately exercise and maintain a supervision over such case or cases during their continuance, seeing that all such cases are properly cared for and that the provisions of this act as to isolation, restriction of communication, quarantine and disinfection are duly enforced.  The county or joint board of health or local health officer shall communicate without delay all information as to existing conditions to the secretary of health and environment.  The local health officer shall confer personally, if practicable, otherwise by letter, with the person in attendance upon the case, as to its future management and control.  The county or joint board of health or local health officer is hereby empowered and authorized to prohibit public gatherings when necessary for the control of any and all infectious or contagious disease.

(b) Any disclosure or communication of information relating to infectious or contagious diseases required to be disclosed or communicated under subsection (a) of this section shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed or made public beyond the requirements of subsection (a) of this section or subsection (a) of K.S.A. 65-118, except as otherwise permitted by subsection (c) of K.S.A. 65-118.