(a) When the Mayor declares a public emergency pursuant to § 7-2304, the Mayor may issue an additional executive order to proclaim a public health emergency if the Mayor has reasonable cause to believe that there is an imminent hazard of or actual occurrence of any of the following harms:
(1) A large number of deaths in the District of Columbia;
(2) A large number of serious or long-term human health disabilities in the District of Columbia;
(3) Widespread exposure to an infectious or toxic agent that poses a significant risk of substantial future harm to a large number of people in the District of Columbia;
(4) Use, dissemination, or detonation of a weapon of mass destruction, as defined by Chapter 31A of Title 22, in the District of Columbia; or
(5) Other emergency events that create an acute and immediate need for volunteer health practitioners.
(b) An executive order issued pursuant to this section shall be subject to the publication requirements of § 7-2306(d).
(c) A public health emergency executive order shall specify:
(1) The existence, nature, extent, and severity of the public health emergency;
(2) The geographic areas subject to the declaration;
(3) The conditions that have brought about the public health emergency, if known;
(4) The measures necessary to relieve the public health emergency;
(5) The specific requirements of the order and the persons upon whom the order is binding; and
(6) The duration of the order, which shall be consistent with the provisions of § 7-2306.
(d) A public health emergency executive order may include terms that:
(1) Require that the conduct and management of the affairs and property of licensed health care providers in the District of Columbia shall be such that they will reasonably assist and not unreasonably detract from the ability of the District of Columbia government to successfully respond to and control the public health emergency in accordance with the provisions of the District of Columbia response plan and of subchapter II of Chapter 1 of this title;
(2) Appoint licensed health care providers, either from the District of Columbia or from other jurisdictions, as temporary agents of the District of Columbia; provided, that such appointments are:
(A) In effect solely for the duration of the public health emergency;
(B) In effect solely for the purpose of assisting the District of Columbia in implementing the provisions of the District of Columbia response plan and of subchapter II of Chapter 1 of this title; and
(C) Without compensation;
(3) Exempt licensed health care providers, either from the District of Columbia or from other jurisdictions, from civil liability for damages for any actions taken within the scope of the provider’s employment or voluntary service to implement the provisions of the District of Columbia response plan and of subchapter II of Chapter 1 of this title, except in instances of gross negligence, and solely for actions taken during the public health emergency;
(4) Waive any licensing requirements, permits, or fees otherwise required by District of Columbia law to allow health care providers from other jurisdictions appointed as temporary agents to respond to the public health emergency pursuant to this subsection; provided, that the appointed temporary agents are licensed in their home jurisdictions in their fields of expertise;
(5) Waive application in the District of any law administered by the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking if doing so is reasonably calculated to protect the health, safety, and welfare of District residents;
(6) Authorize the use of crisis standards of care or modified means of delivery of health care services in scarce-resource situations; and
(7) Authorize the Department of Health to coordinate health-care delivery for first aid within the limits of individual licensure in shelters or facilities as provided in plans and protocols published by the Department of Health.
(d-1) Except as otherwise provided in an executive order issued pursuant to this section, this section shall not otherwise restrict or limit the use and deployment of volunteer health practitioners or the rights, privileges, duties, and immunities provided to volunteer health practitioners pursuant to Chapter 23C of this title [§ 7-2361.01 et seq.].
(e) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, shall issue regulations to implement the provisions of this section.
(Mar. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 3-149, § 5a; as added Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-194, § 903(c), 49 DCR 5306; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 48, 51 DCR 881; July 1, 2010, D.C. Law 18-184, § 14(d), 57 DCR 3655; Aug. 19, 2020, D.C. Act 23-405, § 507(b), 67 DCR 10235.)
Effect of Amendments
D.C. Law 15-105, in subsec. (d)(2)(B), validated a previously made technical correction.
D.C. Law 18-184, in subsec. (a), deleted “or” from the end of par. (3); substituted “; or” for a period at the end of par. (4), and added par. (5); and added subsec. (d-1).