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RSNL1990 CHAPTER C-26

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES ACT

Amended:

2004 c36 s6; 2006 c40 s21

Schedule:  R&S CNLR 954/96; R&S NLR 32/98; 44/03 s2

CHAPTER C-26

AN ACT RESPECTING COMMUNICABLE
DISEASES

Analysis



Short title

        1. This Act may be cited as the Communicable Diseases Act.

RSN1970 c52 s1

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Definitions

        2. In this Act

             (a)  "communicable disease" means a disease mentioned in the Schedule, and includes other diseases that may be added to the Schedule by the minister;

             (b)  "deputy minister" means the Deputy Minister of Health;

             (c)  "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act; and

             (d)  "health officer" means a medical or other health officer authorized by the minister to act as such.

RSN1970 c52 s2; 2006 c40 s21

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Notice by boarding housekeeper

        3. (1) When a hotel-keeper, keeper of a boarding house or person in charge of similar premises where 2 or more people live, knows or is informed by a physician, or has reason to believe, that a person in the hotel, boarding house or premises, has a communicable disease dangerous to the public health, he or she shall immediately give notice to the nearest health officer.

             (2)  The notice shall state the name of the person having or suspected of having the disease, the name of the disease, if known, the name of the hotel-keeper, keeper of a boarding house or person giving notice, and shall, by street number or otherwise, sufficiently designate the house or room in which the person is living.

RSN1970 c52 s3

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Notice by physician

        4. (1) When a physician knows, or has reason to believe, that a person is infected with a communicable disease he or she shall within 24 hours give notice to the deputy minister, or to the health officer in whose jurisdiction the person is, and to the hotel-keeper, keeper of a boarding house or tenant within whose house or rooms the person lives.

             (2)  The notice to the deputy minister or to the health officer shall, where possible, state the name of the disease, the name, age and sex of the person, and the name of the physician giving the notice, and shall by street and number or otherwise, sufficiently designate the house or room in which the person is living.

RSN1970 c52 s4

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Notice by others

        5. (1) Where a person, being the manager or recognized official head in charge of a hospital or residential institution, or a teacher or instructor of students in a school or college or other seminary of learning knows or has reason to believe that a person in the hospital or institution, school, college or other seminary of learning, has a communicable disease, that person shall immediately give notice to the deputy minister or to the health officer in whose district the hospital or other institution, school, college or seminary of learning is located.

             (2)  The notice shall state the name of the person giving notice, the hospital or other institution in which the person is, or, in case the person at the time was attending a school, college or other seminary of learning, the name of the person, and, if not a resident there, the street and number or other information sufficient to designate the house or premises in which the person lives.

RSN1970 c52 s5

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Inspection of premises

        6. As soon as possible, after the receipt by a health officer of a notification of the existence of a case of communicable disease, the health officer may inspect the premises where the disease is reported to exist, and it is the duty of the householder or manager and of a person within the premises to give to the health officer, or other person delegated by him or her to make an inspection, the fullest available information as to the person suspected of being infected, the source of the infection, if known, and generally other information that the health officer or person making the inspection requires.

RSN1970 c52 s6

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Inspection of premises not reported

        7. Where a complaint is made or a reasonable belief exists that a communicable disease exists in a house or other locality, that has not been reported to the health officer, the health officer shall inspect the house or locality, and, on discovering that the communicable disease exists, the health officer may, as he or she considers best, send the person so infected to a hospital or may restrain the person and others exposed within the house or locality from intercourse with other persons, and prohibit entry to and exit from the premises.

RSN1970 c52 s7

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Dealer in uncooked foods

        8. Where a case of communicable disease exists in the house of a dealer in foods ordinarily eaten uncooked, including milk and cream, or a person engaged in delivering the foods, the dealer or delivery person shall not continue the delivering or the distribution of the foods until permitted to do so by the health officer of the locality in which he or she distributes or sells the foods.

RSN1970 c52 s8

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Milk vendors to report

        9. A dairyperson or milk vendor supplying milk, cream or butter for use in a city, town or village shall immediately report to the health officer a case of communicable disease in himself or herself, his or her family or employees.

RSN1970 c52 s9

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Dairy

     10. (1) In the event of a communicable disease occurring at a house occupied by the keeper of a dairy from which milk, cream or butter is supplied for use by the public, or at premises within a city, town or municipality where milk, cream or butter is kept, stored or prepared for sale, the health officer may, where he or she thinks appropriate, prohibit the sale or delivery of the articles from the premises until the time that the health officer is satisfied that all necessary precautions for the public safety have been observed.

             (2)  A person, firm or corporation who, after having been so notified by the health officer to discontinue or interrupt the sale of milk, cream or butter, neglects or refuses to obey or conform to the notice, is guilty of a violation of this Act, and is liable to a fine of $50 for every day after the notification on which milk, cream or butter from the premises is sold or delivered in the city, town or municipality, and in default of payment to imprisonment for 30 days for every day on which milk, cream or butter was so sold.

RSN1970 c52 s10

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Diseased person not to milk cows

     11. A member of the dairy industry supplying milk, cream or butter shall not allow a person suffering from a communicable disease, or having recently been in contact with a person so suffering, to milk cows or to handle vessels for containing milk, cream or butter or to take part or help in the conduct of the trade, in so far as regards the production, distribution or storing of the articles, until the danger of the communication of infection to milk, cream or butter, or their contamination, has stopped and a certificate to that effect obtained from the health officer.

RSN1970 c52 s11

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Disease among cattle

     12. Where disease exists among the cattle in a dairy or cow shed, or other building or place, notice shall immediately be given to the health officer, and the milk of a diseased cow shall not be mixed with other milk, and shall not be used or sold for human food or food for swine or other animals, unless and until it has been boiled for at least 30 minutes.

RSN1970 c52 s12

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Power to enter premises

     13. (1) The health officer, an inspector or a person authorized by 1 of them, shall

             (a)  where it is reasonably necessary to determine compliance with this Act, have the right and power to enter and have free access without hindrance to a building, structure or premises where there are reasonable grounds for believing that milk, cream or butter is stored or kept for sale; and

             (b)  have the right of access to vehicles used for the conveyance or delivery of milk, cream or butter, or to a building, structure or premises where there are reasonable grounds for believing that milk, cream or butter is stored or kept for sale,

and that health officer, inspector or person shall have the right to take samples from each vessel, not exceeding 50 millilitres from each vessel, in which milk, cream or butter is kept or stored for the purpose of inspecting, testing or analyzing the milk, cream or butter where it is reasonably necessary to determine compliance with this Act.

             (2)  Where the minister believes on reasonable grounds that a person has contravened this Act or the regulations, a health officer, inspector or other person authorized by 1 of them may with a warrant issued under subsection (3) at a reasonable time enter upon the building, structure or premises referred to in subsection (1) or business premises and may investigate, inquire into, examine and take samples of anything that there are reasonable grounds to believe will give evidence with respect to an offence under this Act.

             (3)  A Provincial Court judge who is satisfied by information upon oath or affirmation that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is on a building, structure or premises anything that will give evidence with respect to an offence under this Act may issue a warrant authorizing a health officer, inspector or person authorized by 1 of them named in the warrant to enter and search those premises and to make the inquiries and take the samples that are considered necessary, subject to those conditions that may be specified in the warrant.

             (4)  The owner or person in charge of the premises referred to in this section and a person found there shall give a health officer, inspector or person authorized by 1 of them reasonable help to enable the health officer, inspector or person authorized by 1 of them to carry out his or her duties and functions under this section and shall provide the information that the health officer, inspector or person authorized by 1 of them may reasonably require.

1985 c11 s38; 2004 c36 s6

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Investigations

     14. (1) The minister may in writing authorize and direct an appropriate and adequately qualified person to investigate the causes and circumstances of an outbreak of communicable disease or outbreak of unusual and unexplained mortality; and the person so authorized and directed shall, for the purposes of the investigation, have and exercise the powers ordinarily conferred upon a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act.

             (2)  Where upon the investigation the minister is of opinion that a remediable insanitary condition exists, the minister may direct its immediate removal or abatement by the person responsible for it, and where the person neglects or refuses after 3 days' written notice to remove or abate the condition, may cause the removal or abatement to be made.

             (3)  A person who, after written notice fails to remove or put an end to the insanitary condition to the satisfaction of the minister within the time limited, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $100 a day for every day of default.

RSN1970 52 s14

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Persons examined

     15. (1) Where a medical health office has reasonable grounds for believing that a person is or may be infected with or has been exposed to a communicable disease, the medical health officer may by written order direct that person to submit to an examination by the medical health officer or a physician designated by or satisfactory to the medical health officer and to obtain and produce or send to the medical health officer within the time specified in the notice a report or certificate of the physician that the person is or is not infected with the disease.

             (2)  Where, as the result of a report or certificate produced or sent to a medical health officer under subsection (1), it appears that a person is infected with a communicable disease, the medical health officer may

             (a)  with the approval of the minister or the deputy minister order in writing that the person infected be, for the purpose of treatment, removed to and detained in a hospital for the treatment of the disease with which that person is infected until the time that a physician attending at that hospital is satisfied that the infected person has received treatment and recovered sufficiently to be no longer a danger to the public and to be released from the hospital permanently or conditionally upon his or her returning for further examination or treatment or both; and

             (b)  before, after or instead of making an order under paragraph (a), give to the infected person directions as to a course of treatment and conduct to be followed and require that person to produce evidence satisfactory to the medical health officer that he or she is following the directions and where the infected person does not follow the directions or does not produce the evidence required under this paragraph or where the evidence is not satisfactory to the medical health officer, the medical health officer may make an order under paragraph (a).

             (3)  Where a medical health officer makes an order under subsection (1) or (2), he or she may deliver that order or a copy to a constable who shall take into custody the person named in the order or in respect of whom the order is made and remove that person to a place named in the order for examination or treatment.

             (4)  A person who voluntarily enters a hospital for the treatment of a communicable disease or who has been removed to a hospital in accordance with an order under subsection (1) or (2) shall not leave the hospital before being released from the hospital by a physician attending at the hospital or by another person that may have authority to release persons from the hospital.

             (5)  An action does not lie against a person in respect of anything done or required to be done in carrying out or for the purpose of carrying out an order or examination given or made under this section where there was probable cause for the action and that action was not malicious.

             (6)  A person who

             (a)  without reasonable excuse fails to comply with an order made under subsection (1) or paragraph (2)(a) or comply with paragraph (2)(b); or

             (b)  leaves a hospital contrary to subsection (4),

is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $100.

RSN 1970 c52 s15

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Sick persons prohibited from public conveyance

     16. Persons knowing themselves to be suffering from a communicable disease shall not enter or be in a public conveyance or mingle with the general public until they have seen a health officer or registered medical practitioner and been advised that it is not dangerous to the public to so enter or mingle.

RSN1970 52 s16

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Sick person's removal from public conveyance

     17. (1) Where there is reason to suspect that a person who has a communicable disease is in or upon a railway car, ship or vessel, bus or other conveyance, the health officer or a person authorized by him or her may enter the conveyance and remove the person from it, using force, where necessary, and may detain the conveyance until it is properly disinfected, or the health officer may remain or re-enter and remain on or in the conveyance, with help that he or she may require, for the purpose of disinfecting it, and his or her authority shall continue in respect of the person and conveyance, notwithstanding the conveyance is taken into another district.

             (2)  The deputy minister or an inspector, or a medical practitioner or other person authorized by the deputy minister shall have the same authority.

RSN1970 c52 s17

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Disease outside province

     18. Where a part of the province becomes exposed to an epidemic communicable disease existing outside the province, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may declare that the disease exists in those places outside the province and prescribe the precautions that are considered necessary to prevent the spread of the epidemic into this province from the place for a period to be named in the order.

RSN1970 c52 s18

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Notice of disease in laundry

     19. The proprietor, manager or person in charge of a laundry shall give immediate notice to the health officer of a case of communicable disease appearing on the premises.

RSN1970 c52 s19

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Clothing from infected premises

     20. A proprietor, manager or employer of a laundry shall not knowingly receive or remove clothing from a premises where there exists or has recently existed a case of communicable disease.

RSN1970 c52 s20

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Immunization

     21. (1) The minister may if of the opinion that an emergency condition in relation to a communicable disease exists or is to be apprehended, order, with the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, that immunization and re-immunization shall be compulsory within the limits of a specified part of the province.

             (2)  The minister may make regulations respecting immunization including regulations respecting fees to be charged for immunization.

RSN1970 c52 s 21

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Penalty

     22. (1) A parent or guardian of a child required to be immunized, or other person acting in contravention of, or failing to comply with this Act, or a person wilfully obstructing an authorized person in carrying out this Act, shall incur a penalty not exceeding $2 for every offence, to be recoverable by the minister in a summary manner, and in default of payment is liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 days.

             (2)  A person refusing to be immunized, or a parent or guardian refusing to submit a child for immunization shall not be liable to a penalty if it appears that there is satisfactory reason for the person or child not being immunized.

RSN1970 c52 s22

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Certificate of immunization

     23. Upon and immediately after the effective immunization of a child the medical practitioner who performed the operation shall deliver to the father or mother or other person having care of the child a certificate in a form to be prescribed by the minister.

RSN1970 c52 s23

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Child not appropriate for immunization

     24. (1) Where a medical practitioner is of the opinion that a person or child is not in an appropriate state to be immunized, he or she shall deliver to the person or to the father or mother of the child or to the person having the care of the child a certificate to that effect, which certificate shall remain in force for 2 months after its delivery.

             (2)  The person or the father or mother of the child or the person having the care of the child shall at the end of that 2 month period either have the certificate renewed or the immunization performed.

             (3)  The certificate referred to in subsection (1) shall be in a form to be prescribed by the minister.

RSN1970 c52 s24

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Right to refuse admission of child

     25. Superintendents of education, school boards and educational authorities may, where so directed by the minister, order that a student shall not be admitted to a school or other educational institution under their respective control unless the pupil hands to the teacher of the school a certificate either of efficient immunization or

of being insusceptible to immunization.

RSN1970 c52 s25

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Certificate of immunity

     26. (1) The minister or the health officer of a locality that is invaded by or threatened to be invaded by a communicable disease may require a certificate or other sufficient evidence of immunity from the communicable disease to be given by a student attending a school, college, convent, university or other educational institution within the locality to the authorities of the institution.

             (2)  A student who neglects or refuses to produce the certificate on demand shall be excluded from the institution during the whole time of his or her refusal or neglect.

RSN1970 c52 s26

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Failure to exclude child not certified

     27. (1) A person or corporation, having control over a school, college, convent, university or other educational institution, refusing or neglecting to exclude a student who does not provide a certificate of immunization or insusceptibility to immunization when required to do so, shall be guilty of a violation of this Act and subject to the penalty prescribed.

             (2)  The certificate of insusceptibility shall be in a form to be prescribed by the minister.

RSN1970 c52 s27

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Order for immunization

     28. In a proceeding under this Act, the court may, with or without inflicting a penalty, make an order that immunization shall take place; and every subsequent refusal or neglect to obey the order shall be considered a new offence.

RSN1970 c52 s28

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Children if under 16

     29. For the purpose of immunization, children mean persons under the age of 16 years.

RSN1970 c52 s29

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Quarantine regulations

     30. The minister may in a case of actual or apprehended emergency, and subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, make general and particular quarantine orders and regulations applicable to vessels, goods, persons and things, being in the province or coming or being imported from abroad, as he or she may consider expedient for preventing the introduction or spread of communicable disease, and may set penalties, forfeitures and punishments for the breach of the general or particular orders or regulations, not exceeding the general penalties in section 34.

RSN1970 c52 s30

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Epidemics - powers of minister

     31. Where the minister is of the opinion that a communicable disease is epidemic or threatens to become epidemic in a community, he or she shall have authority to issue an order, declaring the disease epidemic, and to order and enforce those measures in the way of quarantine, isolation of the sick, vaccination, disinfectant, closing of schools, public or private or prohibition of public gatherings that in his or her judgment may be necessary to stamp out the infection or contagion.

RSN1970 c52 s31

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Epidemics - closing schools

     32. Where a communicable disease is unusually prevalent, or it is considered by the minister that in the absence of suitable preventive measures it may become epidemic, and a health officer considers it necessary to order the closing of 1 or more schools and to prohibit public gatherings for the purpose of preventing or checking the spread of a disease, the health officer shall have power to so order for the period that he or she may specify, and the persons in charge of the schools shall not receive or admit a pupil into those schools, nor shall public gatherings take place or be resumed, until permission for that purpose is granted by the health officer.

RSN1970 c52 s32

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Regulations

     33. The minister may make and publish regulations and orders for achieving the purposes of this Act, and in particular, for preventing the arising of communicable diseases, the spread of communicable diseases, the checking of epidemics, the securing of safe conditions in places to which the public resort where they might be infected, and

the securing of safe conditions in trades which might readily be the means of communication of infections, and may in and by the regulations prescribe penalties for a breach not exceeding the general penalty prescribed in section 34 of this Act.

RSN1970 c52 s33

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General

     34. In a case not otherwise specifically provided for in this Act, a person wilfully committing a breach of this Act shall be subject to a penalty not exceeding $100, or in default of payment, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 days, or to both a fine and imprisonment.

RSN1970 c52 34

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Schedule

"Communicable disease" includes

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

Anthrax

Botulism

Brucellosis

Chancroid

Chickenpox

Chlamydia

Cholera

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Cryptosporidiosis

Cyclospora

Dengue Fever

Diphtheria

Dysentery; amoebic, bacillary and unspecified and believed infectious

Encephalitis, including viral and arthropod-borne

Food-poisoning - due to chemical, toxin, virus, bacteria or other organism (specified or unspecified) including conditions where food-poisoning is suspected but not confirmed

Genital herpes

Giardiasis

Gonorrhoea in all its forms, including ophthalmia neonatorum

Granuloma inguinale

Haemophilus influenza type b invasive disease

Hantavirus

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and other infectious hepatitis

Human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV)

Influenza A and influenza B (laboratory confirmed)

Invasive disease due to antibiotic resistant organisms

Leprosy

Legionellosis

Louse/Tick-Borne Diseases

Malaria

Measles

Meningitis, viral and bacterial (specified and unspecified)

Meningococcal invasive disease

Mumps

Ornithosis

Pertussis (whooping cough)

Plague

Pneumococcal invasive disease

Poliomyelitis, paralytic

Psittacosis

Rabies (human)

Rubella, including congenital rubella syndrome (CRS)

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Smallpox

Streptococcal Group A and Group B invasive disease

Syphilis in all its forms

Tetanus

Toxoplasmosis

Trichinosis

Tuberculosis

Tularaemia

Typhoid and para-typhoid fever

Water-borne disease - due to chemical, toxin, virus, bacteria or other orgranism (specified or unspecified) including conditions where water-borne disease is suspected but not confirmed

Yellow Fever, and

Other diseases that may be declared by the minister by order to be a communicable disease.

NLR 32/98; NLR 44/03 s2