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New York law would permit ‘removal and detention’ of individuals who pose ‘danger to public health’

Detention would be until individual is "no longer contagious."

Updated: January 2, 2021 - 7:43pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A law proposed in the New York State Assembly would permit state officials to remove and detain state residents if they were deemed to be a “danger to public health.”

Assembly Bill 416 dictates that, “upon determining by clear and convincing evidence that the health of others is or may be endangered by a case, contact or carrier, or suspected case, contact or carrier of a contagious disease,” state officials may “order the removal and/or detention of such a person or of a group of such persons.”

“Such person or group of persons shall be detained in a medical facility or other appropriate facility or premises,” the bill continues.

Individuals seized under the law’s provisions would be “detained for such period and in such manner as the department may direct,” namely so long as the state government determines that the individual is contagious.

Such individuals would be “detained in a manner that is consistent with recognized isolation and infection control principles in order to minimize the likelihood of transmission of infection to such person and to others.”

The proposed law is currently in committee, after which it would be added to the assembly floor calendar for consideration.

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