TITLE 16

Health and Safety

Local Boards of Health; Health Programs

CHAPTER 3. LOCAL BOARDS OF HEALTH


(a) The common council of every city and the commissioners of every incorporated town in the State, except in the City of Wilmington, shall appoint in January of each year, a local board of health for such city or town to consist of not less than 3 nor more than 7 persons of whom at least 1 should be a physician duly authorized to practice medicine and who shall hold office until their successors are appointed. In case there be a port physician appointed by the Governor, the port physician shall be a member of the local board ex officio.

(b) In case the common council or the commissioners are unsuccessful in securing persons to act on the local board, then the common council or the commissioners are and shall be the local board of health for such city or town and shall perform all duties and offices the local board should perform, and be subject to all laws applicable to local boards of health.

(c) All vacancies occurring in any local board by death or otherwise shall be filled by the city council or town commissioners as the case may be. The same authorities may remove for sufficient cause any member of the local board in their respective jurisdictions.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, §§ 1, 2, 15; Code 1915, §§ 745, 763; 29 Del. Laws, c. 49, § 1; Code 1935, §§ 753, 769; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 301; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The local boards of health shall elect annually from among their own members a president and a secretary. The local board shall meet not less than once in every 3 months. A majority of the local board shall form a quorum to do business; a less number may adjourn.

(b) The secretary of the local board shall keep the minutes of the meetings of the local board, and shall perform all such duties as shall be assigned to the Secretary by the local board, for which services he shall receive such compensation as the city council or commissioners of the respective cities or towns may determine.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, §§ 1, 2, 14; Code 1915, §§ 745, 762; 29 Del. Laws, c. 49, § 1; Code 1935, §§ 753, 768; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 302; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Each local board of health may make orders and regulations concerning:

(1) The place and mode of quarantine;

(2) The examination and purification of vessels, boats and other craft not under quarantine;

(3) The treatment of vessels, articles or persons thereof;

(4) The regulation of intercourse with infected places;

(5) The apprehension, separation and treatment of emigrants and other persons who shall have been exposed to any infectious or contagious disease; and

(6) Regulating and prohibiting or preventing all communication or intercourse with all houses, tenements and places and the persons occupying the same in which there shall be any person who shall have been exposed to such contagious or infectious disease.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 12; Code 1915, § 754; Code 1935, § 762; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 303.;

(a) The local boards of health of the respective towns and cities of this State (where such towns and cities have local boards of health) shall supervise all public laundries and public washhouses within such towns and cities and shall not permit the employment by any public laundry or public washhouse of any person suffering with an infectious or contagious disease. The local board shall not allow any person to sleep in such public laundry or public washhouse, or in any room adjoining and opening into such public laundry or public washhouse. Every room in such laundry or washhouse that is used for the purpose of washing or drying clothes shall be properly ventilated and drained and shall be used for no purposes other than those specified. The floors of all rooms in public laundries or public washhouses used for the purpose of washing clothes, shall be made of cement or other mineral substance, and shall be so arranged as to be easily drained.

(b) The local board 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 washhouse, and if the same is found in an unsanitary condition shall direct the owner thereof to make the same in a sanitary condition. Upon the owner's failure to do so, the local board shall cause the place to be closed and shall post a notice upon the front door thereof and the place shall not be reopened until the owner or manager thereof receives a certificate from the local board certifying that the place has been put in a sanitary condition.

(c) A public laundry or public washhouse within the meaning of this section shall be any place within any town or city of this State now or hereafter required by the laws of the State to be licensed for the conduct of its business or any branch thereof. Nothing in this section shall apply to the laundering or washing of clothes in any private residence or hotel.

(d) Whoever violates this section shall for each offense be fined not less than $50 nor more than $100. Every day during which such violation shall be persisted in after notice from the local board in any town or city of the State shall constitute a separate offense.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 3; 18 Del. Laws, c. 33, § 1; 22 Del. Laws, c. 328, §§ 1, 2; Code 1915, § 746; 28 Del. Laws, c. 59, § 1; Code 1935, § 754; 43 Del. Laws, c. 91, § 1; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 304; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Any local board of health when satisfied after an examination that any cellar, room, tenement or building within its jurisdiction occupied as a dwelling place has become, by reason of the number of occupants or want of cleanliness or other cause, unfit for such purpose, and a cause of nuisance or sickness to the occupants or the public may direct the owner or owners, or occupants thereof, to have the premises properly cleansed, or if it see fit, may require the occupants to remove or quit the premises within such time as the local board deems reasonable.

(b) If the person or persons so notified neglect or refuse to comply with the direction of the local board, it may cause the premises to be properly cleansed at the expense of the owners or may remove the occupants forcibly and close up the premises. The premises shall not again be occupied as a dwelling place without permission, in writing, of the local board. If such owner or owners refuse to pay the expenses incident to the execution of such orders, the treasurer of the local board, or the city council, or town commissioners, shall recover the same with interest and costs from the person who ought to have paid the same, as debts of like amount are recoverable.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 4; Code 1915, § 747; Code 1935, § 755; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 305.;

Each local board of health may in case of the prevalence or of reasonable ground to apprehend the prevalence of malignant disease within its jurisdiction direct especially the cleaning of houses, cellars, yards, docks or other such places as the local board shall consider requisite or prudent for the preservation of the public health or for the mitigation of disease. If such direction shall not be observed and fulfilled within the time prescribed, by the person or persons to whom the directions were given, the local board shall order an officer of the local board, or some other person or persons to carry the same into effect, and the expense thereof shall be paid by the person or persons to whom the direction was given unless the local board shall otherwise order. If payment of the expense shall not be made on demand, the treasurer of the local board, city council or town commissioners shall pay the same and shall recover the same with interest and costs from the person who ought to have paid the same, as debts of like amount are recoverable.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 8; Code 1915, § 750; Code 1935, § 758; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 306.;

If any owner, agent or tenant of any property in any town or city suffers the privy well thereon to be so full that any 2 members of the local board of health declare the same to be a nuisance, such owner, the owner's agent and tenant in possession or any of them shall be responsible and after notice unless such privy is cleansed within one week after such notice shall for every offense be fined not less than $1 nor more than $20, with costs of suit, and stand committed to the county jail until the same be paid or until discharged by law.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 10; 18 Del. Laws, c. 33, § 3; Code 1915, § 752; Code 1935, § 760; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 307; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Whoever uses a slaughterhouse or place belonging thereto within a city or town limits, after the local board of health has pronounced the same noisome or having used such slaughterhouse shall not on the requirement of the local board immediately and effectually cleanse the same shall be fined not less than $15 nor more than $25, with costs of suit, and stand committed to the county jail till the same be paid or until discharged by law.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 11; 18 Del. Laws, c. 33, § 4; Code 1915, § 753; Code 1935, § 761; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 308.;

Whoever casts into any street, lane or alley or suffers to run or be washed from any slaughterhouse, stable, privy, yard or place in his or her possession into any street, lane or alley of any city or town having a local board of health any blood, garbage, carrion, dead animal, dung, filth or noisome or offensive matter, or whoever suffers any skins, rags or other matter to be in a noisome or offensive state within or upon property in the person's possession within the city or town limits or deposits in any of its lots, streets, lanes or alleys or near any dwelling house any contents of any slaughterhouse or stable or any matter in a noisome state, or having deposited or put such offensive substances in such places shall not immediately remove the same on the requirement of the local board shall be fined not less than $5 nor more than $20, with costs of suit, and stand committed to the county jail till the same be paid or until discharged by law.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 9; 18 Del. Laws, c. 33, § 2; Code 1915, § 751; Code 1935, § 759; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 309; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Each local board of health may direct:

(1) That any noisome matter whether vegetable, animal or otherwise within the boundaries of its respective city or town or within 1 mile thereof or any vessel then having or having recently had any contagious disease on board which according to the opinion of the local board may be the occasion of sickness or ill health be removed or remedied by the person to whom the same belongs, or in whose possession, or upon whose property it is;

(2) That any place in such city or town or within 1 mile of the boundaries thereof being in such filthy or noxious state that according to the opinion of the local board it may be the occasion of sickness or ill health be cleansed by such persons to whom the same belongs, or in whose possession it is;

(3) That any reservoir of stagnant water or other nuisance or unwholesome thing in such city or town, or within 1 mile of the boundaries thereof which according to the opinion of the local board may be the occasion of sickness or ill health, be abated, removed or remedied by the person to whom the same belongs or in whose possession or on whose property it is; and

(4) It may remove any hogpens in such city or town which in the opinion of the local board it is deemed necessary or conducive to public health to remove.

(b) If it appears to the local board that any of the nuisances mentioned in this section are caused or produced by any person or persons other than those on whose premises the nuisances exist or that the nuisance or nuisances are caused or produced by water or filthy noisome or unwholesome matter flowing or running from the premises of any other person or persons or from premises which may be in that person's or those persons' occupation, the local board shall then give directions to cleanse, remove, abate or remedy the same to the person or persons causing or producing such nuisance or nuisances or to the person or persons from whose premises or from premises which may be in that person's or those persons' occupation the same shall flow or run.

(c) Where the Secretary of Health and Social Services determines, in accordance with Subchapter II of Chapter 16 of Title 24, that a public nuisance exists, the Secretary shall have all the powers granted by this chapter to local boards of health. The Secretary may also apply to a court under §§ 311, 312 and any other sections of this title to enter the premise and remove health hazards, and to do any other act permitted a local board of health, so long as such act is consonant with the provisions and intent of said Subchapter II of Chapter 16 of Title 24.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 3; 18 Del. Laws, c. 33, § 1; 22 Del. Laws, c. 328, §§ 1, 2; Code 1915, § 746; 28 Del. Laws, c. 59, § 1; Code 1935, § 754; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 310; 68 Del. Laws, c. 134, § 2; 70 Del Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Whenever a local board of health thinks it necessary for the preservation of the lives and health of the citizens to enter a place, building or vessel within its jurisdiction for the purpose of examining into and destroying, removing or preventing any nuisance, source of filth or cause of sickness and is refused such entry, any member of the local board may make complaint, under oath, to any justice of the peace of the county, stating the facts of the case as far as the board member has knowledge thereof. Such justice of the peace shall thereupon issue a warrant directed to the sheriff or any constable of the county commanding the sheriff or constable to take sufficient aid and being accompanied by 2 or more members of the local board, between the hours of sunrise and sunset, repair to the place where such nuisance, source of filth or cause of disease may exist and destroy, remove or prevent the same, under the direction of such members of the local board.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 6; Code 1915, § 748; Code 1935, § 756; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 311; 70 Del Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Any justice of the peace, on application under oath, showing cause therefore by a local board of health or any authorized member thereof shall issue a warrant, under the justice of the peace's own hand, directed to the sheriff or any constable of the sheriff's or constable's own county requiring the sheriff or constable, under the direction of the local board, to remove any person or persons infected with contagious disease or to take possession of condemned houses or lodgings.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 7; Code 1915, § 749; Code 1935, § 757; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 312; 70 Del Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The local board of health may procure suitable places for the reception of persons under quarantine and persons sick with the Asiatic or malignant cholera or any other malignant of infectious or contagious disease. In all cases where sick persons cannot otherwise be provided for, the local board may procure for them proper medical and other attendance and necessaries.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 13; Code 1915, § 755; Code 1935, § 763; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 313.;

(a) Whenever quarantine is declared, all railroads, steamboats or other common carriers and the owners, consignees or assignees of any railroad, steamboat or other vehicle used for the transportation of passengers, baggage or freight, shall submit to:

(1) Any rules or regulations imposed by any board of health or health officer;

(2) Any examination required by the board of health or health officer;

(3) Any examination required by the health authorities respecting any circumstance or event touching the health of the crew, operatives or passengers, and the sanitary condition of the baggage and freight.

(b) Any owner, consignee or assignee or other person interested, who makes any unfounded statement or declaration respecting the points under examination shall be subject to the penalties provided in § 317 of this title.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 19; 22 Del. Laws, c. 328, § 5; Code 1915, § 758; 33 Del. Laws, c. 57, § 4; 34 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; Code 1935, § 764; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 314.;

The State Board of Health or any local board of health may erect any temporary wooden buildings or field hospitals necessary for the isolation or protection of persons or freight supposed to be infected and may employ nurses, physicians and laborers sufficient to operate the same properly and sufficient police to guard the same. The board of health may cause the disinfection, renovation or complete destruction of bedding, clothing or other property belonging to corporations or individuals, when such action seems to the board necessary or a reasonable precaution against the spread of contagious or infectious diseases.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 20; 22 Del. Laws, c. 328, § 6; Code 1915, § 759; 33 Del. Laws, c. 57, § 4; 34 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; Code 1935, § 765; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 315.;

An offense charged under this chapter shall be construed and held to have been committed in any county whose inhabitants are or have been injured or aggrieved thereby. The continuance of any offense for 5 days after prosecution commenced therefor shall be deemed an additional offense.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 21; 22 Del. Laws, c. 328, § 7; Code 1915, § 760; Code 1935, § 766; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 316.;

(a) Whoever violates this chapter, except as otherwise therein prescribed or any regulation of the board of health made in pursuance thereof, or obstructs or interferes with the execution of any such order, or wilfully or illegally omits to obey any such order, or neglects or refuses to comply with any requirements of this chapter, except as otherwise therein prescribed shall be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both.

(b) No person shall be imprisoned under this section for the first offense and the prosecution shall always be as for a first offense, unless the affidavit upon which the prosecution is instituted contains the allegation that the offense is a second or a repeated offense.

(c) If such violation, obstruction, interference or omission be by a corporation, the corporation shall be subject to the fine, and any officer of such corporation having authority over the matter, and permitting such violation shall be subject to fine and imprisonment or both, as heretofore provided.

16 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 3; 18 Del. Laws, c. 33, § 1; 22 Del. Laws, c. 328, §§ 1, 2; Code 1915, § 746; 28 Del. Laws, c. 59, § 1; Code 1935, § 754; 16 Del. C. 1953, § 317.;