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Legislation, Quarantine/Isolation

NOTE: this is a very complex area of law, especially as it relates to stay-at-home orders issued by the states.  Please read our primer on quarantine/isolation law before reading this specific state law.





The state health officer and the office of public health of the Department of Health and Hospitals, have "...exclusive jurisdiction, control and authority..." to "...isolate or quarantine for the care and control of communicable disease within the state."  La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 40:5(A)(1).  A whole municipality or parish can be quarantined if "...infected with any disease to such an extent as to threaten the spread of the disease to the other portions of the state."  La. Rev. Stat. Ann § 40:7.  There is no procedure outlined in the statute for a person to contest any such orders. 

A person "...affected with a venereal disease is subject to isolation, quarantine, or internment, on the order of the department, and shall submit to any treatment for such a time and under such restrictions as seems reasonable and proper to the department.”  La. Rev. Stat. Ann § 40:1121.5.  No procedure to contest such an order is provided. 


For tuberculosis specifically, if a person is suffering from active tuberculosis, determined to be in need of immediate treatment by the state health officer, and deemed a public health risk, a judge can order the person into protective custody for up to 72 hours.  La. Rev. Stat. § 40:31.24(A)&(B).  If the person is taken into protective custody and does not sign an informed consent to remain, they will be involuntarily admitted to a facility for tuberculosis treatment and provided a judicial commitment hearing.  La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 40:31.25(A).  Alternatively, a person who requests release from voluntary commitment will be released or the state health officer will file a petition for a judicial commitment hearing.  La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 40:31.23(C).  In either situation,“...not later than the day the court issues an order or notice scheduling a hearing under the provisions of this Part, the court shall appoint counsel for the person in protective custody.”  La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 40:31.26(A)(1).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes