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Topic Collection: Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (e.g., quarantine, isolation, social distancing)

During an outbreak of a communicable disease, a variety of containment measures may be taken to prevent the disease from spreading in the community. Non-pharmaceutical interventions includes isolation, quarantine, and social distancing strategies. Examples of social distancing strategies includes postponing or cancelling mass gatherings (e.g., sporting events), encouraging community members to stay home when sick, or temporarily closing schools. The resources in this Topic Collection include lessons learned by local health departments, legal issues associated with non-pharmaceutical interventions, and guidance documents that can help healthcare facility staff and other medical providers incorporate these interventions into their planning.

This ASPR TRACIE Topic Collection is in the process of being developed and comprehensively reviewed. If you have resources to recommend for inclusion in this Topic Collection, specifically illustrative examples, plans, tools or templates, please email your recommendations to askasprtracie@hhs.gov.

Topic Collection (PDF - 470.9 KB)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Social Distancing Law Assessment Project.

This publication provides an overview of the Social Distancing Law Assessment Project, conducted in 17 jurisdictions in 2007 and nine additional jurisdictions in 2010, to examine their level of legal preparedness to implement social distancing strategies effectively. It includes a template and sample documents..
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Legal Authorities for Isolation and Quarantine.

This webpage includes definitions of key terms, a list of diseases for which isolation and quarantine can be authorized, and a summary of related Federal, state, local, and tribal laws.
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Hunter, J., Yang, J., Crawley, A., et al. (2013). Public Health Response Systems In-Action: Learning from Local Health Departments’ Experiences with Acute and Emergency Incidents. PLoS ONE. 8(11): e79457.

The authors interviewed representatives from more than 120 local health departments regarding their recent experiences with actual acute public health incidents and found that close to 90% reported implementing non-pharmaceutical interventions in their response efforts.
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Siegel, J., Rhinehart, E., Jackson, M., Chiarello, L., and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. (2007). 2007 Guidelines for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This document is geared towards those responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating infection control programs for healthcare settings.
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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. (2007). Public Health Emergency Response: A Guide for Leaders and Responders.

The purpose of this guide is to provide public officials and first responders with information on public health emergencies. It includes sections on isolation and quarantine, which provide definitions, legal and regulatory information, and strategies for non-pharmaceutical interventions.
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