Florida Senate - 2024                                     SB 402
       By Senator Yarborough
       4-00417-24                                             2024402__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to declarations of a public health
    3         emergency; amending s. 381.00315, F.S.; providing that
    4         the administration of vaccines is not included within
    5         the meaning of the terms “treat,” “treated,” or
    6         “treatment” as they relate to public health
    7         emergencies; revising provisions related to the
    8         expiration and renewal of declarations of a public
    9         health emergency; authorizing an individual to refuse
   10         examination, testing, or treatment under a State
   11         Health Officer’s order during a public health
   12         emergency by submitting a written refusal to the State
   13         Health Officer; providing that such individuals may
   14         not be required to undergo such examination, testing,
   15         or treatment; deleting the State Health Officer’s
   16         authority to use any means necessary to treat an
   17         individual under certain circumstances; providing an
   18         effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Paragraphs (b) and (d) of subsection (2) of
   23  section 381.00315, Florida Statutes, are amended, and paragraph
   24  (e) is added to subsection (1) of that section, to read:
   25         381.00315 Public health advisories; public health
   26  emergencies; isolation and quarantines.—The State Health Officer
   27  is responsible for declaring public health emergencies, issuing
   28  public health advisories, and ordering isolation or quarantines.
   29         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   30         (e)“Treat,” “treated,” or “treatment” does not include the
   31  administration of vaccinations.
   32         (2)
   33         (b) Before declaring a public health emergency, the State
   34  Health Officer shall, to the extent possible, consult with the
   35  Governor and shall notify the Chief of Domestic Security. The
   36  declaration of a public health emergency shall continue until
   37  the State Health Officer finds that the threat or danger has
   38  been dealt with to the extent that the emergency conditions no
   39  longer exist and he or she terminates the declaration. However,
   40  A declaration of a public health emergency expires may not
   41  continue for longer than 60 days after the declaration unless
   42  the Governor concurs in the renewal of the declaration, which
   43  extends the expiration of the declaration for 30 days. Any
   44  subsequent renewals must be approved by a two-thirds majority
   45  vote of each chamber of the Legislature before the declaration
   46  expires, with each renewal extending the expiration of the
   47  declaration for 30 days. A declaration of a public health
   48  emergency automatically terminates if it is not timely renewed
   49  before its expiration in accordance with this paragraph.
   50         (d) The State Health Officer, upon declaration of a public
   51  health emergency, may take actions that are necessary to protect
   52  the public health. Such actions include, but are not limited to:
   53         1. Directing manufacturers of prescription drugs or over
   54  the-counter drugs who are permitted under chapter 499 and
   55  wholesalers of prescription drugs located in this state who are
   56  permitted under chapter 499 to give priority to the shipping of
   57  specified drugs to pharmacies and health care providers within
   58  geographic areas identified by the State Health Officer. The
   59  State Health Officer must identify the drugs to be shipped.
   60  Manufacturers and wholesalers located in this the state must
   61  respond to the State Health Officer’s priority shipping
   62  directive before shipping the specified drugs.
   63         2. Notwithstanding chapters 465 and 499 and rules adopted
   64  thereunder, directing pharmacists employed by the department to
   65  compound bulk prescription drugs and provide these bulk
   66  prescription drugs to physicians and nurses of county health
   67  departments or any qualified person authorized by the State
   68  Health Officer for administration to persons as part of a
   69  prophylactic or treatment regimen.
   70         3. Notwithstanding s. 456.036, temporarily reactivating the
   71  inactive license of the following health care practitioners,
   72  when such practitioners are needed to respond to the public
   73  health emergency: physicians licensed under chapter 458 or
   74  chapter 459; physician assistants licensed under chapter 458 or
   75  chapter 459; licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and
   76  advanced practice registered nurses licensed under part I of
   77  chapter 464; respiratory therapists licensed under part V of
   78  chapter 468; and emergency medical technicians and paramedics
   79  certified under part III of chapter 401. Only those health care
   80  practitioners specified in this paragraph who possess an
   81  unencumbered inactive license and who request that such license
   82  be reactivated are eligible for reactivation. An inactive
   83  license that is reactivated under this paragraph returns shall
   84  return to inactive status when the public health emergency ends,
   85  or before the end of the public health emergency if the State
   86  Health Officer determines that the health care practitioner is
   87  no longer needed to provide services during the public health
   88  emergency. Such licenses may only be reactivated for a period
   89  not to exceed 90 days without meeting the requirements of s.
   90  456.036 or chapter 401, as applicable.
   91         4. Ordering an individual to be examined, tested, treated,
   92  isolated, or quarantined for communicable diseases that have
   93  significant morbidity or mortality and present a severe danger
   94  to public health. However, an individual may refuse examination,
   95  testing, or treatment for reasons of health, religion, or
   96  conscience by submitting a refusal in writing to the State
   97  Health Officer. Such individuals may not be required to undergo
   98  examination, testing, or treatment but who are unable or
   99  unwilling to be examined, tested, or treated for reasons of
  100  health, religion, or conscience may be subjected to isolation or
  101  quarantine.
  102         a. Examination, testing, or treatment may be performed by
  103  any qualified person authorized by the State Health Officer.
  104         b. If the individual poses a danger to the public health,
  105  the State Health Officer may subject the individual to isolation
  106  or quarantine. If there is no practical method to isolate or
  107  quarantine the individual, the State Health Officer may use any
  108  means necessary to treat the individual.
  109         c. Any order of the State Health Officer given to
  110  effectuate this paragraph is immediately enforceable by a law
  111  enforcement officer under s. 381.0012.
  112         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.