Thirteen states, including Virginia, were eligible to participate in Phase II of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officer (ASTHO) Social Distancing Law Project. This consisted of a Legal Consultation Meeting (LCM) to bring together legal counsel, law enforcement experts, state and local agencies, judges, and other relevant stakeholders such as community leaders and businesses to address legal issues related to public health emergencies such as an influenza pandemic.
The focus of the meeting was to address the legal issues around the core legal concerns of social distancing and outbreak response (e.g., restriction of movement such as isolation or quarantine, closure of public places, curfew, mass prophylaxis, inter-jurisdictional and interagency cooperation, and federal orders).
Practical considerations (e.g., staffing shortages, limited detention space, etc.) were also considered in that they may impact legal options (e.g., curfew laws might exist, but a limited law enforcement capacity to enforce these laws affects the utility of this tool in some situations). Other legal issues, such as the ability to compel individuals to fulfill essential roles, the ability to alter standards of care, and issues related to closure of schools were considered important issues that would need to be covered at a later date.
The results of the Virginia Social Distancing Legal Consultation Meeting, held on October 9, 2007 in Richmond, Virginia, including the materials used to support the meeting, are provided.
Additional information is available at: