2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 26 - HEALTH AND VITAL STATISTICS
Section 26:13-3 - Declaration of public health emergency.
26:13-3 Declaration of public health emergency.
3. a. The Governor, in consultation with the commissioner and the Director of the State Office of Emergency Management, may declare a public health emergency. In declaring a public health emergency, the Governor shall issue an order that specifies:
(1)the nature of the public health emergency;
(2)the geographic area subject to the declaration;
(3)the conditions that have brought about the public health emergency to the extent known; and
(4)the expected duration of the state of public health emergency, if less than 30 days. Such order may also prescribe necessary actions or countermeasures to protect the public's health.
b.Any public health emergency declared pursuant to this act shall be terminated automatically after 30 days unless renewed by the Governor under the same standards and procedures set forth in subsection a. of this section.
c.The commissioner shall coordinate all matters pertaining to the public health response to a public health emergency, and shall have primary jurisdiction, responsibility and authority for:
(1)planning and executing public health emergency assessment, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery for the State;
(2)coordinating public health emergency response between State and local authorities;
(3)collaborating with relevant federal government authorities, elected officials and relevant agencies of other states, private organizations or companies;
(4)coordinating recovery operations and prevention initiatives subsequent to public health emergencies; and
(5)organizing public information activities regarding public health emergency response operations.
All such activities shall be taken in coordination with the State Office of Emergency Management and shall be executed in accordance with the State Emergency Operations Plan. The State Office of Emergency Management shall provide the commissioner with all required assistance.
d.In instances involving an overlap agent or toxin that causes or has the potential to cause a public health emergency, if the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services suspects or detects conditions that could potentially affect animals, plants or crops under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture pursuant to the provisions of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, he shall immediately notify the Secretary of Agriculture. If the Secretary of Agriculture suspects or detects conditions that could potentially affect humans, he shall immediately notify the commissioner. Information shared by each department shall be held confidential by the departments and their employees and their designees, and shall not be released without the approval of the department that was the source of the information.
e.To the fullest extent practicable, the commissioner shall also promptly notify the elected municipal officials and applicable health care facilities of the jurisdiction affected by the public health emergency of the nature and extent of the emergency.
f.All orders of the commissioner shall remain in effect during the period of the public health emergency until superseded by order of the Governor pursuant to P.L.1942, c.251 (C.App.A:9-33 et seq.). Upon the issuance of an order by the Governor pursuant to P.L.1942, c.251, the commissioner shall coordinate the public health emergency in accordance with the State Emergency Operations Plan. Upon declaration of a disaster pursuant to P.L.1942, c.251, the Governor may exercise the powers granted to the commissioner pursuant to this act.
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