GOP State House Reps Push Bill to ‘Ban’ Involuntary Quarantine
Given the massive dustup over the State Health Board's meeting last week, some GOP House Reps are taking action.
BILL INTRODUCED THAT WOULD BASICALLY NULLIFY INVOLUNTARY QUARANTINE
House Rep Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen), who was the guy outside the Board of Health meeting building with a bullhorn, has introduced HB (House Bill) 2030 which would prevent the use of involuntary quarantine and isolation.
A quick history: For nearly 20 years, there have been codes saying a County Health Officer could seek involvement from law enforcement if a known infected person or persons refused voluntary quarantine over a seriously dangerous contagious disease.
It's never been used, to our knowledge because the few people who did come into contact with serious contagious illnesses quarantined themselves voluntarily. But the Board of Health wanted to add COVID-19 to the list. Some legislators and a lot of citizens became concerned due to how the state government has heavy-handled COVID mandates so far in WA.
BOARD MEETING AGENDA ORIGINALLY CONTAINED DISCUSSION ABOUT ADDING COVID.
A hastily released press statement from the Board claims they were not taking action or discussing it, but that was not true. Gov. Inslee threw a bit of a fit during his press conference saying the state was not going to put people into quarantine camps--although they do exist around the state. We checked. The camps were originally created so people who are NOT residents of WA (travelers etc). would have a place to quarantine during the early stages of COVID.
Fast Forward to Tuesday. Rep Walsh, along with Rep. Brad Klippert from our 8th District and five other GOP Reps have signed onto the bill. It changes the Revised Code of Washington to effectively remove the option for involuntary quarantine--period.
Parts of the bill read:
"...Rules adopted under this section may not authorize the involuntary detention, isolation, or quarantine of a person or group of persons for purposes of controlling or preventing any contagious or infectious disease by any state or local agency or local health officer;"
"...The secretary acting under the authority authorized under this chapter or the authority authorized to a local health officer may not require or seek a superior court order to require a person or group of persons to involuntarily isolate or quarantine or otherwise detain a person or group of persons in any manner for purposes of controlling or preventing any contagious or infectious disease."
This bill likely faces challenges from Democratic House members, we will see what happens.
To read the bill for yourself, click on the button below.
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