Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) may, under section 319 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, determine that: a) a disease or disorder presents a public health emergency (PHE); or b) that a public health emergency, including significant outbreaks of infectious disease or bioterrorist attacks, otherwise exists.
Duration and Notification: The declaration lasts for the duration emergency or 90 days, but may be extended by the Secretary. Congress must be notified of the declaration within 48 hours, and relevant agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, must be kept informed.
Prior to issuing the declaration, the Secretary should consult with public health officials as necessary.
Following a section 319 declaration, the Secretary can:
Enable the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control Director to access the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund (when funds are so appropriated) to prevent, prepare for, or respond to an infectious disease emergency, either when the Secretary has declared a public health emergency or when the Secretary determines that the emergency has significant potential to imminently occur and potential on occurrence, to affect national security or the health and security of US citizens, domestically, or internationally.
Use funds from the fiscal year 2019 appropriation to HHS that are available for salaries and expenses of HHS employees to pay travel and related expenses of an employee or family member when the employee is assigned to duty in the U.S. or in a U.S. territory during a period and in a location that are the subject of a public health emergency declaration, and travel is necessary to obtain medical care for an illness, injury, or medical condition that cannot be adequately addressed in that location at that time.
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