CHAPTER 91 - STATE BOARD OF HEALTH

AN ACT TO AMEND ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 25 OF THE REVISED CODE OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, 1935, RELATING TO THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware, in General Assembly met (two-thirds of all the members elected to each branch of the Legislature concurring therein):

Section 1. That 744 Sec. 1, 745 Sec. 2, 747 Sec. 4, 749 Sec. 6, 750 Sec. 7, 752 Sec. 9, Par. (a), 754 Sec. 11, Par. (c), and 777 Sec. 34 of Article 1 of Chapter 25 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same are hereby amended to read as follows:

744. Sec. 1. State Board Established; Appointment; Qualifications; Terms of Office; Vacancies:—(a) The Governor shall appoint eight persons who shall constitute the State Board of Health. Four of the persons so appointed shall be physicians who shall be selected from a complete list of all the doctors licensed to practice in this State; one of such physicians shall reside in the City of Wilmington, one in New Castle County outside of the City of Wilmington, one in Kent County, and one in Sussex County. One of the persons so appointed shall be a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Medicine in good standing of the Delaware State Dental Society. Three of the persons so appointed shall be women; and of the three women so appointed, one shall be a woman especially interested in Child Welfare Activities; one shall be a woman especially interested in the care and treatment of Tuberculosis Patients; and one shall be a woman who has had business experience. Provided, nevertheless, that not more than five members of the said State Board of Health shall at any time be of the same political faith and opinion.

The persons so appointed shall be so designated by the Governor that the term of office of two of them shall expire in one year, the term of two shall expire in two years, the term of two shall expire in three years, and the term of the remaining two shall expire in four years, and their successors shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years, or until their successors shall be duly appointed and qualified. Any vacancies occurring shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term.

(b) The Regular Annual Meeting of the State Board of Health shall be held on the first Thursday of April of each and every year at which meeting they shall elect a President and such other officers as the said Board may deem necessary. The said Board shall also elect and appoint an Executive Secretary who shall be a licensed physician who shall have had at least one year's post graduate training in public health, or in lieu thereof at least five years' experience as a full-time health official and he shall devote his full time to the duties of his office. The Board shall fix the salary of the Executive Secretary at a sum not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) per annum. The Executive Secretary shall hold office until his successor shall be duly chosen by the said Board.

The Executive Secretary shall be State Health Officer and State Registrar of Vital Statistics. Subject to the approval of the State Board of Health, he shall appoint for each county in the State of Delaware a Deputy State Health Officer, who shall be a person trained and experienced in public health. Each such Deputy State Health Officer shall be appointed for a term . of four years and shall devote full time to his duties. He shall receive such compensation as is fixed by the State Board of Health, and necessary expenses, which shall be paid monthly out of State moneys. The State Board of Health shall have the power to remove such Deputy State Health Officers for cause, upon charges, and after a hearing, and to appoint a suitable person to fill any unexpired term.

The duties of the said Deputy State Health Officers shall be to act as representatives of, and under the direction of, the State Board of Health and of the Executive Secretary, in securing the enforcement of the provisions of the laws of the State of Delaware pertaining to the public health. They shall also enforce all rules, regulations, and orders adopted or promulgated by the State Board of Health in accordance with law, and they shall undertake such other duties as may be assigned to them by the said Board or the Executive Secretary. Such Deputy State Health Officers shall supervise all public health matters within their respective counties, except in incorporated cities and towns having duly constituted boards of health; provided that the governing authorities of any incorporated city or town may by resolution duly adopted by said governing authority, and with the approval of the State Board of Health, designate the Deputy State Health Officer to act as health officer of such incorporated city or town, and when so designated he shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the board of health.

The members of the Board shall receive their actual traveling expenses when attending meetings of the Board; but shall receive no other compensation; provided, however, the said Board may employ any of its members or any other person or persons for special services at a reasonable compensation. The said Board shall hold meetings monthly or oftener if deemed necessary. Four members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The said Board shall have power to adopt By-Laws and rules for their government, subject to the provisions of the Laws of this State.

(c) The State Board of Health shall establish headquarters in the City of Dover, and if no suitable place shall be provided in the State House or in other State property, the Board shall have authority to select some suitable place for the establishment of such headquarters.

(d) The State Board of Health shall have and is hereby vested with all the rights, powers, duties, obligations and authority of the present or heretofore existing "Child Welfare Commission", "The Tuberculosis Commission" and the "State Board of Health".

(e) The Executive Secretary of the State Board of Health shall with the approval of the Board, make a biennial report to each session of the General Assembly of the State of Delaware, which report shall also contain a budget for the ensuing two years.

(f) That all appropriations of State money for the Child Welfare Commission, the Tuberculosis Commission or the State Board of Health shall become and be available for maintaining and carrying forward the work contemplated by the provisions of this Chapter and the said Board of Health shall employ and use such moneys as they shall deem best in the promotion of such work.

(g) The Executive Secretary of the State Board of Health shall annually in the month of June, present to the Auditor of Accounts all the books of the financial doings of the Board, together with all vouchers of settlement.

(h) The salary of the Executive Secretary shall be paid monthly which, and all other necessary expenses of the State Board of Health incurred in accordance with the provisions of the Laws of the State of Delaware, shall be paid by the Treasurer of the State out of moneys not otherwise appropriated upon the order of the President, countersigned by the Executive Secretary.

() As soon as the State Board of Health shall organize under this Article, the Child Welfare Commission, the Tuberculosis Commission and the State Health and Welfare Commission shall, respectively, transfer and turn over to the State Board of Health, all papers, files, documents, books, records, and other property whatsoever belonging or pertaining to the respective Commissions and thereupon the said Child Welfare Commission, the said Tuberculosis Commission and the said State Health and Welfare Commission shall be abolished and the term of office of the various officers of said Commissions shall terminate.

All the power and authority heretofore belonging to or vesting in the Child Welfare Commission, the Tuberculosis Commission and in the State Health and Welfare Commission shall be transferred to and vest in the said State Board of Health which is hereby clothed with all the power and authority necessary for the competent discharge of the duties imposed upon said Board.

(j) The State Board of Health shall have a seal, which shall contain the words, "State Board of Health of Delaware, 1879". Every certificate or other official paper executed by the Secretary of the State Board of Health, in pursuance of any authority conferred by law, and bearing the seal of the Board, shall be received as evidence, when duly certified by the Secretary of said board under its seal, with the same force and effect as the original would, in law, be entitled to, if produced in open court.

745. Sec. 2. Duties; Powers; Reports to; Advice to Local Officers and Boards; Making and Enforcing Regulations and Orders; Expenses of Enforcement, How Paid; Neglect to Enforce Orders; Misdemeanor; Penalty:—The State Board of Health shall have supervision of all matters relating to the preservation of the life and health of the people of the State. The said Board of Health shall have supreme authority in matters of quarantine, and may declare and enforce such quarantine, when necessary, and where no quarantine exists: may modify, relax or abolish it, where it has been established. The said Board of Health shall have the power by affirmative vote of a majority of the Board to adopt, promulgate, amend, and repeal regulations consistent with law, which shall be enforced by all State and local public health officials, for the following purposes: (a) to prevent and control the spread of all diseases that are dangerous to the public health; (b) to prevent and control nuisances which are or may be detrimental to the public health; (c) to provide for the sanitary protection of all water .supplies which are furnished to and used by the public; (d) to provide for the proper collection, storage, and disposal of sewage, household wastes, and garbage by public authorities and individuals; (e) to provide for the sanitary control of public swimming and bathing places; (f) to regulate plumbing in the interests of the public health; (g) to provide for the sanitary production, distribution, and sale of market milk and dairy products and other foods; (h) to provide for sanitary control of public eating places, tourist camps, trailer camps, other public camps, and service stations; (i) to control the practice of midwifery; (j) to provide for proper sanitation, ventilation, and hygiene in schools; (k) to protect and promote the public health generally in this State, and to carry out all other purposes of the laws pertaining to the public health. When deemed necessary by the State Board of Health, such regulations may provide for the issuance of permits to persons engaged in the occupations or businesses so regulated, and the revocation for cause of such permits. Such regulations of the State Board of Health shall have the force and effect of law and shall supersede all local ordinances and regulations heretofore or hereinafter enacted or adopted which are inconsistent therewith. A copy of every such regulation, giving the date that it takes effect, shall be filed with the Secretary of State, and copies of such regulations shall be issued by the State Board of Health in pamphlet form for general distribution. The said Board of Health nay also make and enforce orders in local sanitary matters, when in the judgment of the said State Board of Health, or its Executive Secretary such action is necessary for the protection of the public health, and the local Boards of Health have neglected or refused to act with sufficient promptness or efficiency, or when or where such local board has not been established; and all expenses so incurred shall be paid by the city, town or County for which services are rendered upon bill presented to the Treasurer of such city, county or town by the Executive Secretary of the State Board of Health and approved by the President thereof.

It shall be the duty of all local Boards of Health, health authorities and officials, officers of the State and County institutions, police officers, sheriffs, constables and all other officers and employees of the State, or of any county, city, or town thereof, to enforce such quarantine and sanitary rules and regulations and orders as may be adopted by the State Board of Health and in the event of failure or refusal on the part of any member of said local boards or other officials, or persons mentioned in this Section so to act, he or they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall pay a fine of not more than fifty dollars for the first offense and not more than one hundred dollars for the second and each succeeding offense.

The said State Board of Health shall make careful inquiry as to the cause of disease, especially when contagious, infectious, epidemic or endemic, and take prompt action to control or suppress it. The reports of births and deaths, the sanitary condition and effects of localities, employments, the personal and business habits of the people, the relation of the diseases of animals and man shall be subjects of careful study by the said Board of Health; and it may make and execute orders necessary to protect the people against diseases of the lower animals. It shall collect and preserve such information in respect to such matters and kindred subjects as may be useful in the discharge of its duties, and for dissemination among the people.

Said State Board of Health is authorized to require reports and information from all public dispensaries, asylums, prisons and schools and from the managers, principals and officers thereof, and from all other public institutions, their officers and managers, and from the proprietors, managers, lessees, and occupants of all places of public resort in the State; and if any proprietor, manager, principal, superintendent, officer or physician in charge shall refuse and neglect to make a report when requested to do so by the said Board of Health, he, she or they shall upon conviction thereof by the Court of Common Pleas or any Justice of the Peace of the County in which he, she or they shall reside, be fined not less than five dollars nor more than twenty-five dollars, together with costs. The said Court of Common Pleas and any such Justice of the Peace shall have full cognizance thereof, but such reports and information shall only be required concerning matters and particulars in respect of which they may need information for the proper discharge of the duties of the State Board of Health. Said Board of Health shall, when requested by public authorities, or when it deems best, advise officers of the State, County, or local governments in regard to drainage, and the location, drainage, ventilation, and sanitary provisions of any public institution, building, or public place.

747. Sec. 4. Salaries and Expenses; How Paid; Epidemic and Pestilential Diseases; Proceedings Upon; Appropriation; How Drawn Upon:—All the necessary expenses of the State Board of Health, incurred in accordance with the provisions of law, shall be paid by the Treasurer of the State, out of moneys not otherwise appropriated, upon the order of the President of the Board, countersigned by the Secretary and as provided by law. Provided, that in the event of an epidemic or pestilential disease occurring in the State, or threatened from without the State, the Board of Health of the State of Delaware shall forthwith cause all needful sanitary measures and precautions to be taken, which the emergency may call for, and which may be consistent with law, and which shall be approved by the Governor; said approval to be expressed in writing; and the said Board, with the approval of the Governor, is authorized to draw upon the State Treasurer, in favor of the Board, for such an additional amount as may be found, by the Governor and the State Board of Health, to be necessary to control and stamp out the epidemic or pestilential disease; said money to be paid out of any unappropriated money in the State Treasury, and to be applied and expended under the direction of the Governor and the State Board of Health, in carrying out such needful sanitary measures and precautions. Said emergency appropriation shall only be used in case, in the opinion of the Governor and the State Board of Health, the provisions of Section 2 of this Article are not sufficient to combat the emergency concerning the public health, or said provisions would be too great a burden for any local part of the State to bear.

749. Sec 6. Neglect of Duty; Penalty: Any person refusing, failing, or neglecting to perform the duties required under the provisions of Section 1 to 5 inclusive of this Chapter, or who violates or neglects or fails to comply with any provision of the duly adopted regulations or orders of the State Board of Health, shall upon conviction thereof by the Court of Common Pleas or any Justice of the Peace in the County in which he shall reside, be fined not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars, together with costs, unless otherwise provided by law.

750. Sec. 7. Prosecutions for Violations of Law or Regulations; by Secretary; What Laws Applicable; Fines; How Disposed of:—All prosecutions and proceedings instituted by the State Board of Health for the violation of the provisions of any law or laws to be enforced by the said Board of Health, or for the violation of any order or regulation of the said Board of Health shall be instituted by the Executive Secretary thereof and all laws prescribing the modes of procedure and penalties or judgments applicable to local Boards of Health shall apply to the State Board of Health and the violation of its laws and orders; and all fines or judgments collected or received shall be paid over to the State Treasurer, and applied to the General Fund of the State.

752. Sec. 9. Quarantine Notice on House; Regulations; Quarantine Guards; Powers; Care of Persons Quarantined; Expense of:—(a) From the list of Notifiable Diseases, the State Board of Health may at any time declare certain diseases to be communicable, and may by regulation lay down the procedure which is to be followed by the patient or person suffering therefrom, the parents of the patient, the householder, by the physician attending on the patient, or any individual brought into contact with or responsible for the care or maintenance of the patient, in order that the transference of the disease to other individual or individuals may be prevented. Such regulation respecting the Communicable Diseases shall provide for the quarantine or isolation of the patient, of any person or persons who have been exposed to the patient and therefore liable to have contracted the disease, or of any carrier of the disease; for placarding by a suitable sign intended to be recognizable by the public, the premises, house, tenement or room in which the person ill of, or exposed to the disease, may be; and for any other matter relating to the care of and due to the illness of the patient from such a communicable disease while the patient is living and ill from the disease, or to the disposal of his body when dead; for the removal of the patient from, and his return to school; or for any other matter or procedure of interest in the protection of the public.

754. Sec. 11. Nuisances; How Abated; Violations of Law or Orders; Penalty:—(c) The Board of Health of any town or city within the State shall upon request of any citizen in such town or city inspect or cause to be inspected any public laundry or public wash-house, and if the same is found in an unsanitary condition shall direct such owner thereof to make the same in a sanitary condition, and upon failure to do so, the said Board of Health shall cause the place to be closed and shall post a notice upon the front door thereof, and shall not be reopened until the owner or manager thereof receives a certificate from said Board of Health certifying that the same has been put in a sanitary condition.

777. Sec. 34. Epidemic; Closing of Schools and Public Places, When:—Whenever there shall be an epidemic existing in any of the incorporated towns of the State and no order has been made by the Board of Health closing the schools and other public places in the said Town, the State Board of Health may issue an order closing the public schools and other public places or any of them for such time as may be deemed necessary by said Board for the public protection and while such order shall be in force it shall have all the effect given by law to the orders of the Board of Health under the provision of this Article.

Section 2. That 778, Section 35, of Chapter 25 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware 1935, as amended by Chapter 84, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out paragraph (g) thereof and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

(g) The Municipal Court of the City of Wilmington, the Court of Common Pleas for New Castle County, the Court of Common Pleas for Kent County, and Justices of the Peace shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of General Sessions of the State of Delaware to hear, try, and finally determine all violations of any of the provisions of this Act committed within the territorial jurisdiction of any of said Courts and to punish all persons convicted of any such violations in the manner provided by law.

Section 3. All Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

Approved May 21, 1941.