Legality in quarantines

TOPEKA (KSNT)-     Earlier this week, the Chief Medical Officer at the University of Kansas Hospital says he does believe Ebola will spread to Kansas.
With that threat, comes the question of legality of quarantines around the country.

In Texas, where the first cases of Ebola have been, a health department can force quarantines at any time. Violators face felony charges.
But in several states, a doctor’s order carries little weight, with a quarantine needing to approved by a judge.
“It can’t just be the doctor’s determination of those things. It has to be reviewed by a separate party, and it’s going to depend on the state law.” says Washburn Law professor, Bill Rich.

In Kansas, the law is limited. The law doesn’t allow individual quarantines. Only the Secretary of Health or a mayor can quarantine towns as a whole.

A study, conducted by Trust for America’s Health, states the number one reason that people resist a quarantine is a lack of work compensation. However, 9 out of 10 people who took the survey say they would voluntarily adhere to a quarantine if asked.

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