Travel to Areas Impacted by Ebola Virus Disease
WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 5 the Louisiana Constitution establishes the governor as the chief executive officer of the State and, during times of emergency or the threat of emergency, the governor has emergency powers to protect the citizens and property of the State of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Health Emergency Powers Act, La. R.S. 29:760, et seq., confers upon the Governor of the State of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with public health emergencies, including an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition that is believed to be caused by the appearance of a novel or previously controlled or eradicated infectious agent or biological toxin, in order to ensure that preparations of this state will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters and to preserve the health and lives of the people of the State of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, when the threat of an emergency is foreseeable, it is prudent to implement common sense, precautionary measures to prevent the occurrence of the emergency and eliminate the need to trigger emergency legal authorities;
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak an international public health emergency, with at least 8,997 worldwide cases of Ebola Virus Disease, including 4,493 deaths currently reported by the Centers for Disease Control, making the 2014 outbreak the largest in history;
WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued Level 3 Travel Warnings for the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, advising against non-essential travel, and has also issued a Level 2 Travel Alert for Nigeria, advising travelers to practice enhanced precautions against the threat of contracting the Ebola Virus Disease;
WHEREAS, the federal government, to date, has failed to implement protections at the national level to prevent the entry of the Ebola Virus Disease into the United States of America;
WHEREAS, the State of Louisiana recognizes the potential threat of the Ebola Virus Disease to incapacitate large numbers of people who would require precautionary health monitoring during the incubation period after coming into direct contact with even a single person exhibiting symptoms;
WHEREAS, it is foreseeable that a public health emergency could result from the occurrence of an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in this state, and that such a threat can be reduced with the implementation of precautionary, common-sense measures for public employees and students, faculty, and staff of institutions of higher learning who travel to these countries;
WHEREAS, it is prudent to implement such precautionary, common-sense measures steps to reduce this foreseeable threat to the citizens and property of the State, including the reporting of travel to these countries and the development of policies governing their return to normal duties or classroom attendance following such travel.
NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: All departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana are authorized and directed to develop policies and reporting mechanisms for public employees and students, faculty, and staff of institutions of higher learning to report travel to the countries identified by the Centers for Disease Control as having a threat of contracting the Ebola Virus Disease, as those countries are periodically updated at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
SECTION 2: All departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana, in consultation with Department of Health and Hospitals, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section (EPI) are authorized and directed to develop policies for public employees and students, faculty, and staff of institutions of higher learning governing their return to normal duties or classroom attendance following such travel, to include:
A. Reporting of such travel to the Department of Health and Hospitals, Infectious Disease Epidemiology section (EPI), within forty-eight (48) hours of receiving the information if prior to travel and within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving the information if subsequent to travel.
B. Restrictions or advisories regarding use of commercial transportation (including airplane, ship, bus, train, taxi, or other public conveyance) for twenty-one (21) days after departing an impacted area.
C. Restrictions or advisories regarding going to places where the public congregates, including but not limited to, restaurants, grocery stores, gymnasiums, theaters, etc. for twenty-one (21) days after departing an impacted area.
D. Procedures for daily communication and monitoring, if determined necessary, by public health officials for twenty-one (21) days after departing an impacted area.
SECTION 3: Due to the urgency of this foreseeable threat and importance of having procedures in place to minimize the threatened harm, the policies required herein shall be developed at the earliest possible date, and no later than within five (5) business days from the effective date of this Order.
SECTION 4: All departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana are authorized and directed to cooperate in the implementation of the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 5: Nothing in this Order shall be applied in a manner which violates, or is contrary to, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or any other applicable federal or state law, rule, or regulation.
SECTION 6: The Order is effective October 20, 2014 and shall remain in effect modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 20th day of October, 2014.
Secretary of State