The Vermont Statutes Online
- Subchapter 001: GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 1001. Reports to Commissioner of Health
(a) When a physician, health care provider, nurse practitioner, nurse, physician assistant, or school health official has reason to believe that a person is sick or has died of a diagnosed or suspected disease, identified by the Department of Health as a reportable disease and dangerous to the public health, or if a laboratory director has evidence of such sickness or disease, he or she shall transmit within 24 hours a report thereof and identify the name and address of the patient and the name of the patient's physician to the Commissioner of Health or designee. In the case of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), "reason to believe" shall mean personal knowledge of a positive HIV test result. The Commissioner, with the approval of the Secretary of Human Services, shall by rule establish a list of those diseases dangerous to the public health that shall be reportable. Nonmedical community-based organizations shall be exempt from this reporting requirement. All information collected pursuant to this section and in support of investigations and studies undertaken by the Commissioner for the purpose of determining the nature or cause of any disease outbreak shall be privileged and confidential. The Department of Health shall, by rule, require that any person required to report under this section has in place a procedure that ensures confidentiality.
(b) Public health records developed or acquired by State or local public health agencies that relate to HIV or AIDS and that contain either personally identifying information or information that may indirectly identify a person shall be confidential and only disclosed following notice to and written authorization from the individual subject of the public health record or the individual's legal representative. Notice otherwise required pursuant to this section shall not be required for disclosures to the federal government; other departments, agencies, or programs of the State; or other states' infectious disease surveillance programs if the disclosure is for the purpose of comparing the details of potentially duplicative case reports, provided the information shall be shared using the least identifying information first so that the individual's name shall be used only as a last resort.
(d) A confidential public health record, including any information obtained pursuant to this section, shall not be:
(1) disclosed or discoverable in any civil, criminal, administrative, or other proceeding;
(2) used to determine issues relating to employment or insurance for any individual;
(3) used for any purpose other than public health surveillance, and epidemiological follow-up.
(e) Any person who:
(1) Willfully or maliciously discloses the content of any confidential public health record without written authorization or other than as authorized by law or in violation of subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000.00 and not more than $25,000.00, costs and attorney's fees as determined by the court, compensatory and punitive damages, or equitable relief, including restraint of prohibited acts, costs, reasonable attorney's fees, and other appropriate relief.
(2) Negligently discloses the content of any confidential public health record without written authorization or other than as authorized by law or in violation of subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $2,500.00 plus court costs, as determined by the court, which penalty and costs shall be paid to the subject of the confidential information.
(3) Willfully, maliciously, or negligently discloses the results of an HIV test to a third party in a manner that identifies or provides identifying characteristics of the person to whom the test results apply without written authorization or other than as authorized by law or in violation of subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this section and that results in economic, bodily, or psychological harm to the subject of the test is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for a period not to exceed one year or a fine not to exceed $25,000.00, or both.
(4) Commits any act described in subdivision (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection shall be liable to the subject for all actual damages, including damages for any economic, bodily, or psychological harm that is a proximate result of the act. Each disclosure made in violation of this chapter is a separate and actionable offense. Nothing in this section shall limit or expand the right of an injured subject to recover damages under any other applicable law.
(g) Health care providers must, prior to performing an HIV test, inform the individual to be tested that a positive result will require reporting of the result and the individual's name to the Department, and that there are testing sites that provide anonymous testing that are not required to report positive results. The Department shall develop and make widely available a model notification form.
(h) Nothing in this section shall affect the ongoing availability of anonymous testing for HIV. Anonymous HIV testing results shall not be required to be reported under this section.
(i) The Department shall annually evaluate the systems and confidentiality procedures developed to implement networked and non-networked electronic reporting, including system breaches and penalties for disclosure to State personnel. The Department shall provide the results of this evaluation to and solicit input from the Vermont HIV/AIDS Community Advisory Group.
(j) The Department shall collaborate with community-based organizations to educate the public and health care providers about the benefits of HIV testing and the use of current testing technologies.
(k) The Commissioner shall maintain a separate database of reports received pursuant to subsection 1141(i) of this title for the purpose of tracking the number of tests performed pursuant to chapter 21, subchapter 5 of this title and other information as the Department of Health finds necessary and appropriate. The database shall not include any information that personally identifies a patient. (Amended 1979, No. 60, § 1; 1997, No. 7, § 1, eff. April 29, 1997; 1999, No. 17, § 2; 2007, No. 73, § 2; eff. April 1, 2008; 2007, No. 194 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2009, No. 81 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 20, 2010; 2013, No. 34, § 30a; 2015, No. 37, § 2.)
§§ 1002, 1003. Repealed. 1979, No. 60, § 7.
§ 1004. Report by physician; quarantine
A physician who knows or suspects that a person whom he or she has been called to attend is sick or has died of a communicable disease dangerous to the public health shall immediately quarantine and report to the health officer the place where such case exists, but if the attending physician, at the time of his or her first visit, is unable to make a specific diagnosis, he or she may quarantine the premises temporarily and until a specific diagnosis is made, and post thereon a card upon which the word "quarantine" should be plainly written or printed. Such quarantine shall continue in force until the health officer examines and quarantines as is provided in this title.
§ 1004a. Quarantine
The Commissioner of Health shall have the power to quarantine a person diagnosed with or suspected of having a disease dangerous to the public health. (Added 1979, No. 60, § 2.)
§§ 1005, 1006. Repealed. 1979, No. 60, § 7.
§ 1007. Quarantined patient leaving hospital, report
When a patient who has a communicable disease subject to quarantine leaves a hospital or institution, without the consent of the authorities of such hospital or institution the physician or other person in charge of such a hospital or institution shall notify forthwith the Commissioner that such person has left the hospital or institution and is the bearer of such communicable disease. (Amended 1979, No. 60, § 3.)
§ 1008. Vaccines, antibiotics, antiserums, and other agents; purchase and distribution; penalties
(a) The Department is authorized to procure vaccines, antibiotics, antiserums, and such other agents as may be necessary for the prevention and diagnosis of infectious and communicable diseases or diseases of public health significance in which there is an unmet need and to distribute same free of charge upon application thereof by licensed physicians, and under such rules as the Department and Secretary of Human Services may prescribe; and the expense thereof shall be paid by the State.
(b) A person selling or disposing of any vaccine, antibiotic, antiserum, or other agent procured or distributed under the provisions of this section for personal gain shall be fined not more than $50.00 or less than $10.00 for each such offense. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1961, No. 51,§§ 1, 2; 1979, No. 60, § 4; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 57.)
§ 1009. Repealed. 1979, No. 60, § 7.
§ 1010. Ophthalmia neonatorum
The Department and the Secretary of Human Services may make such rules as they deem necessary for the prevention of blindness caused by the disease known as ophthalmia neonatorum, and they may furnish, at the expense of the State, such prophylactic outfits as are necessary for the use of physicians. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1979, No. 60, § 5; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 58.)
- Subchapter 002: TUBERCULOSIS
§ 1041. Reports by physicians and certain others
A physician who is consulted by a person infected with tuberculosis in any form shall submit the name and address of such person to the Commissioner upon such forms as he or she may furnish, with such other facts as may be required, within one week after such consultation. (Amended 1969, No. 101, § 1, eff. April 19, 1969.)
§ 1042. Record of cases; instructions
The Commissioner shall keep an accurate record of cases reported as provided in sections 1007 and 1041 of this title, and the same shall not be published, but shall be kept by the Board for such purposes as are necessary in the discharge of its duties. Upon being notified of a case mentioned in sections 1007 and 1041 of this title, the Board shall take such action as it deems necessary for the protection of the public and the individual's health. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961.)
§ 1043. Investigation; educational campaign, report
The Board shall investigate the prevalence and extent of tuberculosis and other chronic respiratory diseases in the State, shall adopt and make use of means for educating the people of the State in respect to the causes and nature of these diseases, means for their prevention and treatment, and in respect to the best method of preventing and limiting the prevalence of these diseases. Such educational campaign shall be carried on in such manner as the Board deems proper to disseminate the facts in regard to these diseases. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1969, No. 101, § 2, eff. April 19, 1969.)
§§ 1044-1046. Repealed. 1977, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.).
§ 1047. Indigent persons with respiratory diseases
Persons who have tuberculosis and other chronic respiratory diseases, who are without the means to obtain adequate care and treatment for such diseases, shall be deemed indigent persons for the purposes of this subchapter. (Amended 1965, No. 5, § 1; 1969, No. 101, § 3, eff. April 19, 1969; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 92.)
§ 1048. Examination; report; treatment
A physician, licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the State, shall immediately after examination of an indigent person wishing treatment for tuberculosis or other chronic respiratory disease make a report of his or her findings to the Commissioner of Health. Upon receipt of such report, the Commissioner may authorize treatment of the person who has tuberculosis or other chronic respiratory disease. Such person's physician shall thereupon prescribe the time of treatment and designate the facility at which treatment shall be given; provided, however, that in a case of tuberculosis suspected of being infectious, the Commissioner may apply all the laws and regulations of communicable disease control. (Amended 1969, No. 101, § 4, eff. April 19, 1969; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 92.)
§ 1049. Repealed. 1967, No. 147, § 53(b), eff. Oct. 1, 1968.
§ 1049a. Repealed. 1969, No. 101, § 5, eff. April 19, 1969.
§ 1050. Repealed. 1967, No. 147, § 53(b), eff. Oct. 1, 1968.
§ 1051. Tuberculosis treatment facilities
The Commissioner shall approve facilities in the State where indigent persons may be treated for tuberculosis under this subchapter. The Commissioner and the Board of Health shall determine to their satisfaction that all such facilities furnish adequate and proper tuberculosis treatment. Treatment for other chronic respiratory diseases under this subchapter may be given at any accredited hospital. (Amended 1959, No. 190, § 2; 1966, No. 22 (Sp. Sess.), § 1; 1969, No. 101, § 6, eff. April 19, 1969.)
§ 1052. Repealed. 1959, No. 190, § 5.
§ 1053. Treatment and care of patients
The Secretary of Human Services may provide for treatment and care of tuberculosis and chronic respiratory disease patients at facilities designated by him or her. (Amended 1965, No. 5, § 2; 1966, No. 22 (Sp. Sess.), § 2; 1969, No. 101, § 7, eff. April 19, 1969; 1973, No. 89, § 2.)
§ 1054. Tuberculosis clinic and treatment program
(a) The Department shall visit all newly reported cases or suspect cases of tuberculosis with periodic follow-up visits as deemed necessary.
(b) The Department shall provide for:
(1) prompt examination of all suspects and contacts;
(2) chemotherapeutic treatment of all active cases attending this clinic; and hospitalization in accordance with sections 1047-1051 of this title;
(3) chemotherapy for converters and inactive cases;
(4) the reevaluation and reexamination of inactive cases as medically indicated. (Added 1961, No. 270, §§ 1-3, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; amended 1973, No. 89, § 3; 1997, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 272.)
§ 1055. Tuberculosis; compulsory examinations
When the Commissioner of Health has reasonable cause to believe that any person has tuberculosis in an active stage or in a communicable form, the Commissioner may request the person to undergo an examination at a clinic or hospital approved by the Secretary of Human Services for that purpose at the expense of the State by a physician qualified in chest diseases. If the person refuses the examination, the Commissioner may petition the Superior Court for the unit where the person resides for an order requiring the person to submit to examination. When the court finds that there is reasonable cause to believe that the person has tuberculosis in an active stage or in a communicable form, it may order the person to be examined. (Added 1967, No. 49, § 1; amended 1973, No. 89, § 4; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 144.)
§ 1056. Nature of examination; findings
The examination shall be in the manner and form prescribed by the Commissioner of Health. It may include taking of an x-ray of the chest and enough microscopical examinations and cultures to permit completion of diagnosis. The findings of the examination shall be reported in full to the Commissioner of Health who shall furnish copies thereof to the person examined. (Added 1967, No. 49, § 2.)
§ 1057. Medical management
(a) When the Commissioner of Health determines, as a result of an examination as provided by sections 1055 and 1056 of this title, that any person has tuberculosis in an active stage and in communicable form to an extent that the person may expose other persons or the public generally to danger of infection, he or she shall investigate the circumstances thereof and if he or she finds that the person does constitute a health hazard to the public, he or she may request the court to order the person to a hospital or other suitable place and require appropriate medical management of the person therein until he or she determines that the management is no longer necessary. Such medical care and treatment as the Commissioner of Health considers necessary and proper may be furnished to the sick person at the expense of the State. Treatment shall not be imposed on any person against his or her will unless the Commissioner determines that the person constitutes a public health hazard without such treatment.
(b) Nothing in sections 1055 to 1061 of this title shall be construed to compel any person who is being treated by prayer or spiritual means alone in accordance with the tenets and practice of a well-recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner to be medically managed in a place to which he or she objects as long as suitable healing methods or isolation can be maintained in a place of his or her own choosing, provided that he or she does not constitute a public health hazard as determined by the Commissioner, and that all sanitation rules are complied with. (Added 1967, No. 49, § 3; amended 1973, No. 89, § 5; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 92; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 59.)
§ 1058. Compulsory medical management
If any person fails or refuses to comply with an order of the court issued under section 1057 of this title, the Commissioner of Health, in accordance with the order, may request any police officer or sheriff in writing to take the person into custody and deliver him or her forthwith to a place or facility for such services as designated by the Secretary of Human Services as provided in sections 1053 and 1055 of this title. The officer shall tender the person named in the order a copy of the order of the court and of the request to him or her to apprehend and deliver the person to the place of tuberculosis management, and shall make return of his or her doings to the court. (Added 1967, No. 49, § 4; amended 1973, No. 89, § 6.)
§ 1059. Leaving compulsory medical management
A person who is managed by order of the court shall not leave the place of compulsory medical management without the permission in writing of the court or the Commissioner of Health. That permission may constitute a final discharge or be for a specified period of time. In either case the Commissioner of Health may impose such conditions as he or she considers reasonable, including requirements for periodic examinations. Any person so managed who leaves the place of management without permission, or who fails to return thereto within the time prescribed, may be returned to the place of management without further court order and the Commissioner of Health may direct any officer specified in section 1058 of this title, in writing, to apprehend the person and to return him or her forthwith to the place of management. (Added 1967, No. 49, § 5; amended 1973, No. 89, § 7.)
§ 1060. Rights of a person in compulsory medical management
Any person in compulsory medical management by order of the court who believes his or her physical condition is such as to warrant his or her discharge, if the discharge is refused by the Commissioner of Health, is entitled to a physical examination by a qualified physician of his or her own choice. If as a result of examination the physician feels that the continued compulsory medical management is no longer justified and the Commissioner of Health does not concur in that opinion, the person may appeal by petition to the court issuing the original order for his or her compulsory medical management. Proceedings before the court shall be de novo, and the court may require such further examination as it considers necessary and may, in its discretion, at the expense of the State appoint no less than three independent physicians, at least one of whom shall have had special experience in respiratory diseases, to examine the person. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the court shall make findings of fact and issue such order as it considers proper. The order of the court may be appealed to the Supreme Court in the manner provided by law for appeals from a Criminal Division of the Superior Court generally. A person may not petition for release from medical management within six months from the date a court order is made, whether an appeal is taken or not. (Added 1967, No. 49, § 6; amended 1973, No. 89, § 8; 2009, No. 154, § 238.)
§ 1061. Construction with other laws
Sections 1055-1060 of this title are in addition to any other statutes relating to communicable diseases generally or to tuberculosis specifically and shall not abrogate or repeal those other statutes unless in direct conflict therewith, in which case the provisions of such sections shall control. (Added 1967, No. 49, § 7.)
- Subchapter 003: VENEREAL DISEASES
§ 1091. Venereal diseases; definitions
In this subchapter, unless the context requires otherwise:
(1) "Authoritative source" means a physician licensed in the State, superintendent of a State institution or private hospital, medical officers of the armed forces of the State or United States, State and territorial health officers, and personnel of the Department of Health designated by the Board of Health.
(2) "Venereal disease" means syphilis, gonorrhea, and any other sexually transmitted disease which the Department finds to be of significance and amenable to control. (Amended 1967, No. 7, § 1; 1979, No. 60, § 6.)
§ 1091a. Venereal diseases, control
Venereal diseases are contagious, infectious, communicable, and dangerous to public health. Protection of the public requires the identification and treatment of persons infected by those diseases. (Added 1967, No. 7, § 2.)
§ 1092. Treatments, refusal, penalty
A physician or other person, except persons who merely practice the religious tenets of their church without pretending a knowledge of medicine or surgery, provided, however, that sanitary laws, rules, and regulations are complied with, who knows or has reason to believe that a person whom he or she treats or prescribes for, or to whom he or she sells patent or proprietary medicine purporting to cure or alleviate the symptoms of gonorrhea or syphilis, has one of these diseases, shall immediately report the name, nationality, race, marital state, address, age, and sex of such person, and, if obtainable, the date and source of contracting the same, to the Commissioner on forms furnished for that purpose. Such persons so reported shall submit to regular treatment prescribed by a physician until discharged by the physician. A person who willfully refuses to regularly submit to prescribed treatment shall be reported at once to the State's Attorney for immediate prosecution. Such willful refusal shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100.00 or three months' imprisonment, or both.
§ 1093. Examination and report
Whenever the Board shall receive information from an authoritative source to the effect that a person is suspected of being infected with an infectious venereal disease and is likely to infect or to be the source of infection of another person, such Board shall cause a medical examination to be made of such person, for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not such person is in fact infected with such disease in a communicable stage, and such person shall submit to such examination and permit specimens of blood or bodily discharges to be taken for laboratory examinations as may be necessary to establish the presence or absence of such disease or infection, and such person may be detained until the results of such examinations are known. The required examination shall be made by a physician licensed to practice in this State, or a licensed physician designated by the person to be examined. Such licensed physician making such examination shall report thereon to the Board and to the person examined. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1973, No. 89, § 9.)
§ 1094. Restraining order
Such suspected person may by petition directed to a Justice of the Supreme Court or a Superior judge pray for an order restraining the making of such examination and no examination shall then be made except upon order of such Justice or judge, and such petition and order shall not be a matter of public record. Before such examination, each suspected person shall be informed of this right and be given an opportunity to avail himself or herself thereof.
§ 1095. Treatment of partner of patient diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Expedited partner treatment" means the practice of treating the sexual partner or partners of a patient diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease for the sexually transmitted disease by providing a prescription or medication to the patient for the sexual partner or partners without the prescribing or dispensing health care professional examining the sexual partner or partners.
(2) "Health care professional" means a physician licensed pursuant to 26 V.S.A. chapter 23 or 33, a physician assistant certified to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs pursuant to 26 V.S.A. chapter 31, or a nurse authorized to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs pursuant to 26 V.S.A. chapter 28.
(b) A health care professional may provide expedited partner treatment to a patient's sexual partner or partners for the treatment of a sexually transmitted disease designated by the Commissioner by rule.
(c) A health care professional who prescribes or dispenses prescription drugs for a patient's sexual partner or partners without an examination pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall do so in accordance with guidance published by the Commissioner and shall include with each prescription and medication dispensed a letter that:
(1) cautions the sexual partner not to take the medication if he or she is allergic to the medication prescribed or dispensed; and
(2) recommends that the sexual partner visit a health care professional for evaluation.
(d) The Commissioner shall establish by rule additional treatment standards for expedited partner treatment and authorize expedited partner treatment for any sexually transmitted diseases, provided that expedited partner treatment for those diseases conforms to the best practice recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Added 2013, No. 42, § 1; amended 2013, No. 42, § 2, eff. March 1, 2014.)
§ 1096. Penalty
A person who violates a provision of sections 1092-1095 of this title, for which no other penalty is provided, shall be fined not more than $500.00 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
§ 1097. Educational campaign
The Board shall conduct an educational campaign of methods for the prevention and treatment and care of persons who have venereal diseases. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 92.)
§ 1098. Examination and treatment by Board
The Board shall provide at the expense of the State facilities for the free laboratory examination of material from suspected cases of venereal disease, and shall furnish hospitalization and other accredited specific treatment at cost or free to such clinical patients as the Board shall deem entitled to such aid. Payment for diagnosis and treatment shall not be furnished until the report required by section 1093 of this title has been made. The Board shall include, in bulletins or circulars distributed by it, information concerning such diseases. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1973, No. 89, § 10.)
§ 1099. Reports and records confidential
All information and reports in connection with persons who have venereal diseases shall be regarded as absolutely confidential and for the sole use of the Board in the performance of its duties hereunder, and such records shall not be accessible to the public nor shall such records be deemed public records; and the Board shall not disclose the names or addresses of persons so reported or treated except to a prosecuting officer or in court in connection with a prosecution under section 1105 or 1106 of this title. The foregoing shall not constitute a restriction on the Board in the performance of its duties in controlling these communicable diseases. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 92.)
§ 1100. Rules
The Board shall make and enforce such rules for the quarantining and treatment of cases of venereal disease reported to it as may be deemed necessary for the protection of the public. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 60.)
§ 1101. Reports by public institutions
The superintendent or other officer in charge of public institutions such as hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, homes, psychiatric hospitals, and charitable and correctional institutions shall report promptly to the Board the name, sex, age, nationality, race, marital state, and address of every patient under observation who has venereal diseases in any form, stating the name, character, stage, and duration of the infection, and, if obtainable, the date and source of contracting the same. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 92.)
§ 1102. Taking blood samples
A practitioner of medicine and surgery or osteopathy attending a pregnant woman shall take samples of blood of such woman, if possible prior to the third month of gestation, and submit same to a laboratory approved by the Board for a standard serological test for syphilis. Every other person permitted by law to take blood tests shall similarly cause a sample of blood of a pregnant woman attended by him or her to be taken by a duly licensed practitioner of medicine and surgery or osteopathy and submit it to a laboratory approved by the Board for a standard serological test for syphilis. (Amended 1959, No. 19, eff. March 5, 1959; 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961.)
§ 1103. Birth certificate; serological test
A person required by section 5071 of this title to file a report of birth shall state on the report whether a blood test for syphilis has been made upon a sample of blood taken from the woman who bore the child named in the report and if so shall state the date on which the test was made. In case no such blood test has been made, such fact shall be stated in the report with the reason why such test has not been made. In no event shall the birth certificate state the result of the serological test for syphilis made pursuant to the provisions of this section and section 1102 of this title. (Amended 2017, No. 46, § 8, eff. July 1, 2019; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 61.)
§ 1104. Serological test, definition
A standard serological test shall be a test for syphilis approved by the Board and shall be performed on request by the State laboratory or at a laboratory approved for this purpose by the Board. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961.)
§ 1105. Marrying when infected with venereal disease
A person, having been told by a physician that he or she was infected with gonorrhea or syphilis in a stage which is or may become communicable to a marital partner, or knowing that he or she is so infected, who marries, without assurance and certification from a legally qualified practitioner of medicine and surgery or osteopathy that he or she is free from such disease in a stage which is or may become communicable to the marital partner shall be imprisoned not less than two years or fined not less than $500.00, or both.
§ 1106. Sexual intercourse when infected with venereal disease
A person who has sexual intercourse while knowingly infected with gonorrhea or syphilis in a communicable stage shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $500.00, or both. (Amended 1973, No. 89, § 11; 1981, No. 223 (Adj. Sess.), § 23.)
- Subchapter 004: IMMUNIZATION
§ 1120. Definitions
As used in this subchapter:
(1) "Child care facility" means a child care facility or family day care home licensed or registered under 33 V.S.A. chapter 35, unless exempted by rule adopted under section 1123 of this title.
(2) "School" means a public or independent prekindergarten, kindergarten, elementary, or secondary school, or any postsecondary school as defined in 16 V.S.A. § 176(b), unless exempted by rule adopted pursuant to section 1123 of this title. (Added 1979, No. 40; amended 1981, No. 18, § 1; 1993, No. 75, § 1; 2007, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.)
§ 1121. Immunizations required prior to attending school and child care facilities
(a) No person may enroll as a student in a Vermont school, regardless of whether the student has been enrolled in the school during a previous school year, unless the appropriate school official has received a record or certificate of immunization issued by a licensed health care practitioner or a health clinic that the person has received required immunizations appropriate to age as specified by the Vermont Department of Health.
(b) No person may enroll or retain a child in a child care facility, regardless of whether the child has been enrolled in the facility during a previous year, unless the facility has received a record or certificate of immunization issued by a licensed health care practitioner or a health clinic that the child has received required immunizations in the prior 12-month period appropriate to age as specified by the Vermont Department of Health.
(c)(1) To the extent permitted under 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (family educational and privacy rights), and any regulations adopted thereunder, all schools and child care facilities shall make publicly available the aggregated immunization rates of the student body for each required immunization using a standardized form that shall be created by the Department. Each school and child care facility shall provide the information on the school and child care facility's aggregated immunization rate for each required immunization to students, or in the case of a minor to parents and guardians, at the start of each academic year and to any student, or in the case of a minor to the parent or guardian of any student, who transfers to the school or child care facility after the start of the academic year. A student attending a postsecondary school shall directly receive information on the school's aggregated immunization rate at the start of the academic year or upon transfer to the school, regardless of whether the student is a minor.
(2) Each school and child care facility shall annually, on or before January 1, submit its standardized form containing the student body's aggregated immunization rates to the Department.
(3) Notwithstanding section 1120 of this title, as used in this subsection only, the term "child care facility" shall exclude a family day care home licensed or registered under 33 V.S.A. chapter 35. (Added 1979, No. 40; amended 1981, No. 18, § 2; 2007, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2011, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2013, No. 34, § 12; 2015, No. 37, § 3.)
§ 1122. Exemptions
(a) Notwithstanding subsections 1121(a) and (b) of this title, a person may remain in school or in a child care facility without a required immunization:
(1) If the person or, in the case of a minor, the person's parent or guardian presents a form created by the Department and signed by a licensed health care practitioner authorized to prescribe vaccines or a health clinic stating that the person is in the process of being immunized. The person may continue to attend school or a child care facility for up to six months while the immunization process is being accomplished.
(2) If a licensed health care practitioner who is authorized to prescribe vaccines certifies in writing that a specific immunization is or may be detrimental to the person's health. A certifying health care practitioner shall specify the required immunization in question as well as the probable duration of the condition or circumstance that is or may be detrimental to the person's health. Any exemption certified under this subdivision shall terminate when the condition or circumstance cited no longer applies.
(3) If the person or, in the case of a minor, the person's parent or guardian annually provides a signed statement to the school or child care facility on a form created by the Department that the person, parent, or guardian:
(A) holds religious beliefs opposed to immunization; and
(B) has reviewed evidence-based educational material provided by the Department regarding immunizations, including:
(i) information about the risks of adverse reactions to immunization;
(ii) information that failure to complete the required vaccination schedule increases risk to the person and others of contracting or carrying a vaccine-preventable infectious disease; and
(iii) information that there are persons with special health needs attending schools and child care facilities who are unable to be vaccinated or who are at heightened risk of contracting a vaccine-preventable communicable disease and for whom such a disease could be life-threatening.
(b) The Department of Health may provide by rule for further exemptions to immunization based upon sound medical practice.
(c) A form signed pursuant to subdivision (a)(3) of this section and the fact that such a form was signed shall not be:
(1) construed to create or deny civil liability for any person; or
(2) admissible as evidence in any civil proceeding.
(d) As used in this section, "health care practitioner" means a person licensed by law to provide professional health care services to an individual during the course of that individual's medical care or treatment. (Added 1979, No. 40; amended 1981, No. 18, § 3; 2007, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2011, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 37, § 4, eff. July 1, 2016.)
§ 1123. Immunization rules
The Department shall adopt rules for administering this subchapter. Such rules shall be developed in consultation with the Agency of Education with respect to immunization requirements for Vermont schools, and in consultation with the Department for Children and Families with respect to immunization requirements for child care facilities. Such rules shall list which immunizations shall be required and the manner and frequency of their administration, and may provide for exemptions as authorized by this subchapter. (Added 1979, No. 40; amended 2007, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 256, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2015, No. 37, § 5; 2017, No. 74, § 26.)
§ 1124. Access to and reporting of immunization records
(a) In addition to any data collected in accordance with the requirements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department shall annually collect from schools the immunization rates for at least those students in the first and eighth grades for each required vaccine. The data collected by the Department shall include the number of medical and religious exemptions filed for each required vaccine and the number of students with a provisional admittance.
(b) Appropriate health personnel, including school nurses, shall have access to immunization records of anyone enrolled in Vermont schools or child care facilities, when access is required in the performance of official duties related to the immunizations required by this subchapter. Access to student immunization records shall only be provided with the prior written consent of parents and students as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, and any regulations adopted thereunder. (Added 1979, No. 40; amended 1981, No. 18, § 4; 2007, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2011, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 37, § 6, eff. July 1, 2016.)
§ 1125. Quality improvement measures
The Department may implement quality improvement initiatives in any school that has a provisional admittance rate or an exemption rate above the State average. (Added 2015, No. 37, § 7.)
§ 1126. Noncompliance
The school board of each district, or the board of trustees of each independent school, or the chief executive officer of each postsecondary school, or the director of each child care facility shall exclude from school or a child care facility any person not otherwise exempted under this subchapter who fails to comply with its provisions. No person shall be excluded for failure to comply with the provisions of this subchapter unless there has been a notification by the appropriate school or child care facility authority to the person, or in the case of a minor to the person's parent or guardian of the noncompliance with this subsection, and of their rights under section 1122 of this title. In the event of exclusion, school officials or the director of the child care facility shall notify the Department of Health and contact the parents or guardians in an effort to secure compliance with the requirements of this subchapter so that the person may attend school or the child care facility. (Added 1979, No. 40; amended 1981, No. 18, § 5; 1993, No. 75, § 2; 2007, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.)
§ 1127. Discrimination and testing prohibited
(a) No school district or educational institution shall request or require any applicant, or prospective or current student to have an HIV-related blood test nor shall any school district or educational institution discriminate against an applicant, or prospective or current student on the basis of a person's having a positive test result from an HIV-related blood test.
(b) A person aggrieved by a violation of this section or the Attorney General on behalf of such a person may bring an action for injunctive relief and damages in the Superior Court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. The court may award costs and reasonable attorney's fees to an aggrieved person who prevails in an action brought under this subsection. (Added 1987, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)
§ 1128. Access to health services and testing
(a) No health care provider or facility shall request or require any applicant for care or services or any client or patient to have an HIV-related blood test as a condition for receiving unrelated treatment or service nor shall any such provider or facility discriminate against any applicant, client, or patient on the basis of a person's having a positive test result from an HIV-related blood test. Nothing in this section shall preclude health care providers or facilities from recommending testing for medically appropriate diagnostic purposes or from administering to clients or patients who consent to have an HIV-related blood test.
(b) Failure of a health care provider to comply with any provision of this section shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action or any other regulatory action authorized by law. Failure of a health care facility to comply with any provision of this section shall constitute grounds for modification, suspension, or revocation of the facility's license, authority to operate, or any other regulatory action authorized by law. Any such regulatory action shall be taken in accordance with the disciplinary, licensing, or other procedures established by law for the board or agency having jurisdiction over the health care provider or facility.
(c) A person aggrieved by a violation of this section or the Attorney General on behalf of such a person may bring an action for injunctive relief and damages in the Superior Court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. The court may award costs and reasonable attorney's fees to an aggrieved person who prevails in an action brought under this subsection. (Added 1987, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.)
§ 1129. Immunization registry
(a) A health care provider shall report to the Department all data regarding immunizations of adults and of children under 18 years of age within seven days of the immunization, provided that required reporting of immunizations of adults shall commence within one month after the health care provider has established an electronic health records system and data interface pursuant to the e-health standards developed by the Vermont Information Technology Leaders. A health insurer shall report to the Department all data regarding immunizations of adults and of children under 18 years of age at least quarterly. All data required pursuant to this subsection shall be reported in a format required by the Department.
(b) The Department may use the data to create a registry of immunizations. Registry information shall remain confidential and privileged, except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. Registry information regarding a particular adult shall be provided, upon request, to the adult, the adult's health care provider, and the adult's health insurer. Registry information regarding a particular minor child may be provided, upon request, to school nurses, or in the absence of a nurse on staff, administrators, and upon request and with written parental consent, to licensed day care providers, to document compliance with Vermont immunization laws. Registry information regarding a particular child shall be provided, upon request to the minor child's parent or guardian, health insurer, and health care provider, or to the child after the child reaches the age of majority.
(c) The Department may exchange confidential registry information with the immunization registries of other states in order to obtain comprehensive immunization records.
(d) The Department may provide confidential registry information to health care provider networks serving Vermont patients; to the Vermont Health Information Exchange; and, with the approval of the Commissioner, to researchers who present evidence of approval from an institutional review board in accordance with 45 C.F.R. § 164.512.
(e) Prior to releasing confidential information pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this section, the Commissioner shall obtain from State registries, health care provider networks, the Vermont Health Information Exchange, and researchers a written agreement to keep any identifying information confidential and privileged.
(f) The Department may share registry information for public health purposes in summary, statistical, or other form in which particular individuals are not identified, except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this section.
(g) As used in this section, "administrator" means an individual licensed under 16 V.S.A. chapter 5, the majority of whose employed time in a public school, school district, or supervisory union is assigned to developing and managing school curriculum, evaluating and disciplining personnel, or supervising and managing a school system or school program. "Administrator" also means an individual employed by an approved or recognized independent school, the majority of whose assigned time is devoted to those duties. (Added 1997, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2007, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2015, No. 37, § 8; 2021, No. 9, § 14a, eff. April 17, 2021.)
§ 1130. Immunization funding
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Health care facility" shall have the same meaning as in section 9402 of this title.
(2) "Health care professional" means an individual, partnership, corporation, facility, or institution licensed or certified or authorized by law to provide professional health care services.
(3) "Health insurer" shall have the same meaning as in section 9402 of this title, but does not apply to insurers providing coverage only for a specified disease or other limited benefit coverage.
(4) "Immunizations" means vaccines and the application of the vaccines as recommended by the practice guidelines for children and adults established by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
(5) "State health care programs" means any health care program providing immunizations with funds available through State and federal sources.
(6) "Covered lives" means the number of Vermont residents covered under a health insurance plan provided or administered by a health insurer.
(b)(1) The Department of Health shall administer an immunization program with the goals of ensuring universal access to vaccines for all Vermonters at no charge to the individual and reducing the cost at which the State may purchase vaccines. The Department shall purchase, provide for the distribution of, and monitor the use of vaccines as provided for in this subsection and subsection (c) of this section. The cost of the vaccines and an administrative surcharge shall be reimbursed by health insurers as provided for in subsections (e) and (f) of this section.
(2) The Department shall solicit, facilitate, and supervise the participation of health care professionals, health care facilities, and health insurers in the immunization program in order to accomplish the State's goal of universal access to immunizations at the lowest practicable cost to individuals, insurers, and State health care programs.
(3) The Department shall gather and analyze data regarding the immunization program for the purpose of ensuring its quality and maximizing protection of Vermonters against diseases preventable by vaccination.
(c) The immunization program shall purchase vaccines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the lowest available cost. The Department shall determine annually which vaccines for adults shall be purchased under the program.
(d) The immunization program shall provide for distribution of the vaccines to health care professionals and health care facilities for administration to patients.
(e) Health insurers shall remit to the Department the cost of vaccines, as established by the Commissioner of Health based on the recommendation of the Immunization Funding Advisory Committee established in subsection (g) of this section.
(f) The Department shall charge each health insurer a surcharge for the costs and administration of the immunization program. The surcharge shall be deposited into an existing special fund and used solely for the purpose of administering the program.
(g)(1) The Immunization Funding Advisory Committee is established to provide the Commissioner of Health with an annual per-member per-month cost for vaccines for the pediatric population, an annual per-member per-month cost for vaccines for the adult population, and a recommendation for the amount of the yearly vaccine assessment. The Committee shall comprise the following nine members:
(A) the Executive Officer of the Board of Pharmacy;
(B) the Executive Director of the Green Mountain Care Board;
(C) a representative of the Vermont Blueprint for Health, nominated by the Director of the Blueprint and appointed by the Commissioner of Health;
(D) three representatives of health insurers, one from each of the State's largest private health insurers, as determined by the number of covered lives, appointed by the Commissioner of Health;
(E) a representative of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Vermont chapter, appointed by the Commissioner of Health;
(F) a representative of the American Academy of Family Medicine, Vermont chapter, appointed by the Commissioner of Health; and
(G) a representative of employers that self-insure for health coverage, appointed by the Commissioner of Health.
(2) The Committee shall select a chair from among its members at the first meeting of each calendar year. The Committee shall receive administrative support from the Department of Health.
(3) By January 1 of each year, the Committee shall provide to the Commissioner the annual fiscal assessment and the per-member per-month cost for pediatric vaccines based on the total number of pediatric covered lives reported by health insurers and the per-member per-month cost for adult vaccines based on the total number of adult covered lives reported by health insurers.
(h) If federal purchase requirements do not further the goal of ensuring universal access to vaccines for all, the Commissioner may, following consultation with the Immunization Funding Advisory Committee, discontinue the program with six months' advance notice to all health care professionals and to all health insurers with Vermont covered lives.
(i) The Department may adopt rules under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 to implement this section. (Added 2005, No. 191 (Adj. Sess.), § 23; amended 2007, No. 70, § 29; 2009, No. 61, § 42; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.20; 2011, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2011, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § C.200, eff. May 17, 2012; 2013, No. 79, § 17, eff. Jan. 1, 2014; 2013, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § E.312.1.)
§ 1131. Vermont Immunization Advisory Council
(a) Creation. There is created the Vermont Immunization Advisory Council for the purpose of providing education policy, medical, and epidemiological expertise and advice to the Department with regard to the safety of immunizations and immunization schedules.
(b) Membership. The Council shall be composed of the following members:
(1) a representative of the Vermont Board of Medical Practice, appointed by the Governor;
(2) the Secretaries of Human Services and of Education or their designees;
(3) the State epidemiologist;
(4) a practicing pediatrician, appointed by the Governor;
(5) a representative of both public and independent schools, appointed by the Governor; and
(6) any other persons deemed necessary by the Commissioner.
(c) Powers and duties. The Council shall:
(1) review and make recommendations regarding the State's immunization schedule for attendance in schools and child care facilities; and
(2) provide any other advice and expertise requested by the Commissioner.
(d) Assistance. The Council shall have the administrative, technical, and legal assistance of the Department.
(1) The Council shall convene at the call of the Commissioner, but no less than once each year.
(2) The Council shall select a chair from among its members at the first meeting.
(3) A majority of the membership shall constitute a quorum. (Added 2015, No. 37, § 9.)
§ 1132. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
A health care practitioner administering vaccinations shall report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, in consultation with the patient, or if a minor, the patient's parent or guardian, all significant adverse events that occur after vaccination of adults and children, even if the practitioner is unsure whether a vaccine caused the adverse event. (Added 2015, No. 37, § 10.)
- Subchapter 005: COMMUNICABLE DISEASE TESTING
§ 1140. Definitions
As used in this subchapter:
(1) "Bloodborne pathogen" means a pathogenic microorganism that is present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. Such pathogens include hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
(2) "Emergency personnel" shall have the same meaning as in 20 V.S.A. § 3171, but shall also include members of a ski patrol trained through the National Ski Patrol or substantially similar program.
(3) "Employer" means the organization on whose behalf a worker is employed or volunteering when rendering health services to a source patient pursuant to this subchapter.
(4) "Health care provider" shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 9432(9) of this title.
(5) "Health care worker" means any individual or employee of a health care provider who provides medical or other health services in the course of the worker's employment.
(6) "Health services" means activities and functions that are directly related to care, treatment, or diagnosis of a patient, including emergency medical treatment.
(7) "Manner sufficient to transmit" means consistent with current guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as determined by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Vermont.
(8) "Public safety personnel" means an individual employed or volunteering for a fire department, police department, or ambulance service.
(9) "Source patient" means an individual who, in the course of receiving health services, may have exposed a health care worker, public safety personnel, or emergency personnel to blood or bodily fluids in a manner sufficient to transmit a bloodborne disease.
(10) "Worker" means emergency personnel, health care worker, or public safety personnel. (Added 2007, No. 194 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 1141. Communicable disease testing
(a) A health care provider may order a test for bloodborne pathogens if a health care worker, public safety personnel, or emergency personnel has been exposed to the blood or bodily fluids of the source patient in a manner sufficient to transmit a bloodborne pathogen-related illness to the affected worker while engaged in rendering health services to the source patient, and provided that:
(1) the source patient:
(A) has provided informed consent, as defined in subdivision 9701(17) of this title; or
(B) is deceased;
(2) the worker has provided a blood sample and consented to testing for bloodborne pathogens and a physician has documented that bloodborne pathogen test results are needed for beginning, continuing, modifying, or discontinuing medical treatment for the worker;
(3) a physician with specialty training in infectious diseases has confirmed that the worker has been exposed to the blood or bodily fluids of the source patient in a manner sufficient to transmit a bloodborne pathogen-related illness;
(4) a health care provider has informed the worker of the confidentiality requirements in subsection (c) of this section and the penalties for unauthorized disclosure of source patient information under subsection (e) of this section; and
(5) a health care provider has informed the source patient of the purpose and confidentiality provisions in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, respectively, if applicable.
(b) Bloodborne pathogen test results of a source patient obtained under subsection (a) of this section are for diagnostic purposes and to determine the need for treatment or medical care specific to a bloodborne pathogen-related illness of a worker. Test results may not be used as evidence in any criminal or civil proceedings.
(c) The result of a test ordered pursuant to subsection (a) of this section is protected health information subject to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information" established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and contained in 45 C.F.R., Parts 160 and 164, and any subsequent amendments. Test results shall be confidential except that the worker who sustained the exposure, the health care provider who ordered the test, and the source patient, upon his or her request, shall be informed of the test results. Test results reported to the worker and documented in his or her medical record shall not include any personally identifying information relative to the source patient. Test results shall be transmitted to the Commissioner of Health pursuant to subsection (i) of this section.
(d) Prior to laboratory testing of a source patient's blood sample for bloodborne pathogens, personal identifiers shall be removed from the sample.
(e) Unauthorized disclosures of test results obtained under this section shall be subject to the penalties provided under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. subsections 1320d-5 and 1320d-6, and may be considered unprofessional conduct under applicable licensing, certification, and registration laws.
(f) The results of rapid testing technologies shall be considered preliminary and may be released in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions as approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. Corroborating or confirmatory testing must be conducted as follow-up to a positive preliminary test.
(g) The health care provider who requested the test shall provide the source patient and the worker an opportunity to receive follow-up testing and shall provide information on options for counseling, as appropriate.
(h) Records pertaining to testing performed pursuant to this section shall not be recorded in the source patient's medical record unless authorized by the source patient and shall not be maintained in the location where the test is ordered or performed for more than 60 days.
(i) A laboratory having personal knowledge of a test result under this section shall transmit within 24 hours a report thereof to the Department of Health pursuant to subsection 1001(k) of this title.
(j) The employer of any worker exposed to blood or bodily fluids while rendering health services to a source patient during the performance of normal job duties shall maintain an incident report with information regarding the exposure that is relevant to a workers' compensation claim. The employer shall not be provided or have access to information personally identifying the source patient.
(k) The costs of all diagnostic tests authorized by these provisions shall be borne by the employer of the worker.
(l) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a health care provider who orders a test in accordance with this section shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability for ordering the test. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to establish immunity for the failure to exercise due care in the performance or analysis of the test.
(m) A health care provider's duties under this section are not continuing but limited to testing and services performed under this section. (Added 2007, No. 194 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)