CHAPTER 86 - DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH - PROVISIONS CONCERNING VENEREAL DISEASES

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 25 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, ENTITLED, "DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH", BY MAKING FURTHER PROVISIONS FOR THE EXAMINATION, TREATMENT, AND QUARANTINE OF PERSONS KNOWN OR REASONABLY SUSPECTED OF BEING INFECTED WITH A VENEREAL DISEASE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That Chapter 25 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be further amended by inserting in 778. Sec. 35. at the end of sub-division (c) thereof and to be a part of said sub-division (c), the following:

Upon receipt of a written report, or of any other reliable information, by the local health officer, that any person infected with a venereal disease in an infectious stage, is conducting himself or herself or is about to conduct himself or herself so as to infect others; or that a person infected with a venereal disease under treatment; or that any person is a prostitute, or a person associating with a prostitute, and is reasonably suspected of being infected or of conducting himself or herself so as to infect others; or that a person has been convicted in any court, or before a Justice of the Peace, of an offense growing out of sex immorality; or that a person is being held by a court, municipality, or Justice of the Peace, pending an examination for a venereal disease; or that a certain person has been reported in a venereal disease report as the source of a venereal disease; or when any other facts are brought to the attention of the local health officer having proper jurisdiction showing that any person is reasonably suspected of being infected with or having been exposed to a venereal disease or is about to conduct himself or herself so as to infect others, the said health officer, when in his opinion it is necessary, shall at once issue his warrant or order if the party be not already in custody and shall proceed as hereinafter provided.

Such warrant or order shall be directed to any constable or to any police officer qualified and authorized to execute process, directing said officer to apprehend the person mentioned therein and to bring the said party before the health officer at a time and place set out in the warrant or order, there to be further dealt with as provided by law; and the said officer to whom the warrant is directed shall execute the same as other papers of like character or kind. Pending a hearing in the matter the constable may for safe keeping lodge the person so apprehended under warrant in jail or in any other place of detention that may have been provided for such persons; but the health officer may by endorsement on the warrant at the time of its issuance direct any other disposition to be made of the person arrested, before trial, as to him shall appear proper, and the said officer executing the warrant shall be guided thereby, but the said officer shall not be held responsible should the person arrested escape.

When a party is brought in for a hearing upon arrest under the warrant provided in the preceding paragraph, the health officer shall at once proceed to ascertain the facts in the case and to this end he may summon witnesses and administer oaths to such witnesses touching their testimony, and may, if proper, discharge the party from further custody; or if from the testimony it appears that the party so apprehended is properly classifiable under any sub-division or section of this section respecting persons reasonably suspected of being infected, then such party need not be released from custody until proof is submitted to show that the party is already under treatment by a reputable physician or until an examination has been made to ascertain whether in fact the said party is so infected and the results of all tests and examinations are known. If the said party is found to be infected with one or more venereal diseases in an infectious stage, said party need not be released from custody until such time as the health officer considers said party to be no longer a menace to the public health and the said party may be quarantined in any place or institution provided for the purpose, or in the patient's own home if the health officer thinks best; and if no other place is available and suitable for such purpose, then such party shall be detained under quarantine in the city or county jail, as may be designated by the health officer.

Approved April 24, 1945.