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					ONONDAGA COUNTY Pandemic Flu Community Planning Guide

last updated: June 2007

Section 3
A. Background B. Authorities

Authorities

1. New York Governor 2. New York State Health Commissioner 3. Onondaga County Executive
 Declaring a Local State of Emergency

4. City Mayors, Village Mayors and Town Supervisors 5. Onondaga County Commissioner of Emergency Management 6. Onondaga County Commissioner of Health 7. Community Pandemic Preparedness Committee

C. Basic Flow of Authorities D. Key Legal Authorities

A.

Background

All governments and sectors have a role to play in preparing for, responding to and recovering from a pandemic flu. Planning and preparedness efforts are continuing at all levels of government with the goals of minimizing serious illness, death and societal disruption in the event of a pandemic flu. Officials in the federal, state, county, city, and town governments all have certain powers and authorities aimed at protecting public health. Individuals and families possess the power to protect their own health through effective preparation and through the practice of appropriate levels of personal hygiene. The presence of overlapping authorities will necessitate close communication and coordination between Federal, State and Local leaders and the public to ensure clear and consistent actions. It is also important to note that the roles and responsibilities of all applicable stakeholders will evolve throughout the course of a pandemic flu emergency.

B.
1.

Authorities and Roles
New York Governor

The Governor may, on his/her own initiative or in regards to a request from one or more chief executives, declare an affected area a disaster emergency. After such a declaration the Governor has the authority to suspend state and local laws, request federal assistance, direct state agencies to provide assistance and prohibit any behavior that is deemed by the State Commissioner of Health as a nuisance to security or health (NYS Executive Law 2-B Sec. 20, 28 29) (Public Health Law 1301). In accordance with Executive Law 20(1), it is the policy of the State that local government and emergency service organizations continue their essential role as the first line of defense in times of disaster, and that the State provide appropriate supportive services to the extent necessary.

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ONONDAGA COUNTY Pandemic Flu Community Planning Guide

last updated: June 2007

2.

New York State Health Commissioner

The State Health Commissioner shall enforce all laws, rules and regulations that serve in the best interest of the public health. The State Health Commissioner also shall investigate outbreaks and epidemics of disease and advise the Onondaga County Health Commissioner about measures to prevent and control outbreaks. The State Health Commissioner shall enforce public health laws, rules, regulations, and orders in local matters when there is declared state of emergency (Public Health Law 206, 201). 3. Onondaga County Executive

The Onondaga County Executive may proclaim a state of emergency within the County when, in the judgment of the Executive, extraordinary measures are necessary to protect public peace, safety and welfare. Under a state of emergency, the Executive may impose curfews, close any or all private businesses, close any or all public buildings and places including streets, alleys, schools, parks and amusement areas, and proclaim any such orders as are necessary for the protection of life and property. Upon the threat or occurrence of disaster, the County Executive may coordinate the responses of requests for assistance made by the chief executive of any political subdivision (city, town, village) (NYS Executive Law 2-B Sec. 24-26).

 Declaring a Local State of Emergency 
In accordance with New York State Executive Law 2-B, the Chief Executive Officer of any municipality may;     Issue emergency orders Implement public protective measures Suspend local laws and Request supplemental assistance for those areas within their defined jurisdictions

Those Chief Elected Officials within Onondaga County who are authorized to declare a State of Emergency within their jurisdiction are, in descending order of jurisdictional power; 1. 2. 3. 4. County Executive Town Supervisors City Mayors Village Mayors

The County Executive maintains the power to order a State of Emergency within any part, or all, of the territorial limits of Onondaga County. Depending upon the seriousness of the impending emergency, and the need for expediency, the Chief Executive of a jurisdiction may issue a declaration verbally. The verbal declaration should be followed with a formal written declaration of a State of Emergency that is filed with each jurisdictional level Clerk including the Office of the Secretary of State (NYS Executive Law 2-B).

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ONONDAGA COUNTY Pandemic Flu Community Planning Guide

last updated: June 2007

4.

City Mayors, Village Mayors and Town Supervisors

City Mayors, Village Mayors and Town Supervisors may all proclaim a state of civil emergency within their jurisdictions if, in the judgment of the chief executives, extraordinary measures are necessary to protect public peace, safety and welfare. Under a state of civil emergency, these chief executives may impose, within their jurisdiction, curfews, close any or all business establishments, close any or all public buildings and places including streets, alleys, schools, parks, and amusement areas, direct the use of all public and private health, medical and convalescent facilities and equipment to provide emergency health and medical care for injured persons, and proclaim any such orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life. Pursuant to New York State Executive Law, the County Executive may suspend all those regulations and laws within any political subdivision, deemed necessary for the preservation of life and property (NYS Executive Law 2-B Sec. 24-26). All municipalities must report any cases of communicable diseases within their jurisdiction to the County Commissioner of Health (Public Health Law 2104 Sec.1). 5. Onondaga County Commissioner of Emergency Management In order to carry out appropriate emergency plans and procedures, and better ensure public welfare and safety, the Commissioner of Emergency Management will manage the Onondaga County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Onondaga County government has adopted the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in order to manage and coordinate emergency operations. In addition, the County has developed a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) that identifies roles and responsibilities of county agencies, emergency responders, partner organizations, volunteers and others engaged in emergency management activities. The Commissioner of Emergency Management is responsible for updating this plan. The Commissioner will implement emergency plans and take appropriate emergency actions required to manage both declared and undeclared emergency events that threaten public safety within Onondaga County. The Commissioner of Emergency Management is in charge of facilitating and coordinating all activities between the County, the Incident Commander, towns, cities, villages, State and inter-County representatives. 6. Onondaga County Commissioner of Health

The Commissioner of Health enforces the public health statutes, rules and regulations of the state and local health ordinances. The Commissioner of Health has the authority to control and prevent the spread of any dangerous, contagious or infectious diseases that may occur within his or her jurisdiction. The Commissioner of Health shall, when necessary, conduct investigations and institute disease control measures, including medical examination, testing, counseling, treatment, vaccination, decontamination of persons or animals, isolation, quarantine, and inspection and closure of facilities. The Commissioner of Health may initiate involuntary detention for isolation and quarantine of individuals or groups pursuant to New York State Public Health Law 2100 (1). The Commissioner of Health has the authority to carry out steps needed to verify a diagnosis reported by a health care provider, and to require any person suspected of having a reportable disease or condition to submit to examinations to determine the presence of the disease. The Commissioner of Health may also investigate any suspected case of a reportable disease or other condition if necessary, and require notification of additional conditions of public health importance occurring within the jurisdiction.

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ONONDAGA COUNTY Pandemic Flu Community Planning Guide

last updated: June 2007

The Commissioner of Health shall establish, in consultation with local health care providers, health facilities, emergency management personnel, law enforcement agencies, and other entities deemed necessary, the plans, policies, and procedures for instituting emergency measures to prevent the spread of communicable disease. The Commissioner of Health may take all necessary actions to protect the public health in the event of a contagious disease occurring in a school or day care center. Refer to Appendix 1 of the NYSDOH Pandemic Influenza Plan for detailed descriptions of New York State laws pertaining to the closure of schools and businesses, suspension of public gatherings, and use of unlicensed volunteers for administering flu vaccine. These actions may include, but are not limited to, closing the affected school, closing other schools, ordering cessation of certain activities, and excluding persons who are infected with the disease. Prior to taking action, the Commissioner of Health shall consult with the State Health Commissioner, the Onondaga County Executive, the superintendent of the school district or the chief administrator of the day care center, and provide them a decision directing them to take action (NYS Public Health Law 13). The Commissioner of Health is further advised by the Onondaga County Health Advisory Board on matters relating to the preservation and improvement of the Public Health. Composed of physicians, governmental representatives, and professional non-governmental representatives, the Health Advisory Board maintains a critical advisory role for the Health Department’s plans and procedures. The role and tasks assigned to the OCHAB are pursuant to Onondaga County Charter, Article XVI Sec. 1604.

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ONONDAGA COUNTY Pandemic Flu Community Planning Guide last updated: June 2007

C.

Basic Flow of Authorities

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ONONDAGA COUNTY Pandemic Flu Community Planning Guide

last updated: June 2007

D. Key Legal Authorities
Declaring an Emergency Declaring a State of Emergency—Governor
NYS Executive Law 2-B §20, 28 29 Permits the Governor, to declare an affected area a disaster emergency. After such a declaration, the Governor has the authority to suspend state and local laws, request federal assistance, direct state agencies to provide assistance. Gives the Onondaga County Executive authority to proclaim a state of emergency within the County when, in the judgment of the Executive, extraordinary measures are necessary to protect public peace, safety and welfare. Permits the prohibition of any behavior that is deemed by the State Commissioner of Health as a nuisance to security or health. Determines that the State Health Commissioner shall enforce all laws, rules and regulations that serve in the best interest of the public health. Mandates all municipalities to report any cases of communicable diseases within their jurisdiction to the County Health Commissioner. Allows the Onondaga County Health Commissioner to initiate involuntary detention for isolation and quarantine of individuals or groups if necessary. The Commissioner may also carry out steps needed to verify a diagnosis reported by a health care provider, and require any person suspected of having a reportable disease or condition to submit to examinations to determine the presence of the disease. Permits the Onondaga County Commissioner of Health to close schools and day care centers, order cessation of certain activities, and exclude persons who are infected with the disease from the aforementioned venues. Prior to taking action, the Commissioner of Health shall consult with the State Health Commissioner, the Onondaga County Executive, school superintendents and day care administrators. Permits closure of streets or parts of streets to vehicular traffic and re-direction of traffic during special emergencies.

Declaring a County State of Emergency
NYS Executive Law 2-B §24-26

Public Health Response Measures and Closing Determining Nuisances to Security and Health Public Health Law 1301 Enforcement Authorities
Public Health Law 206, 201

Reporting Incidents of Disease
Public Health Law 2104 §1

Involuntary Detentions and Mandated Examinations
New York State Public Health Law 2100 (1)

Closing Schools and Day Care Facilities
NYS Public Health Law 13

Street Closing and Redirection of Traffic
NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law §1602 and §1683

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