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A Menu of Suggested Provisions for Public Health Mutual Aid Agreements

Definitions

Descriptive Note

Parties to mutual aid agreements may find it useful to define key terms. Some terms may in fact be defined by relevant statutes, ordinances, regulations, or policies. In any event, terms defined in agreements must be compliant with applicable laws, and carefully crafted to accurately reflect the parties’ intent.

Optional sample provisions

  • Emergency: A natural or manmade event that is, or is likely to be, beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of a Party to this Agreement.

     
  • Health data: Written, electronic, oral, telephone, or visual information, identifiable or population based, that relates to an individual’s or population’s past, present or future physical or mental health status, condition, treatment, service or products purchased and includes, but is not limited to, laboratory test data or samples.

     
  • Identifiable data or information: Specific to an individual and may include elements such as demographic information, address, date of birth, etc. Data or information is "identifiable" if it directly identifies an individual or there is a reasonable basis to believe it could be used to identify an individual. Information may also be "identifiable" if it meets the definition as contained in an applicable law. This type of information is defined by applicable federal, provincial and state laws and the definitions in those laws may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

     
  • Infectious disease agent: The causative agent of an illness or health condition that may trigger reporting requirements or requests under the governing law or regulations of any of the signatories’ jurisdictions or of the Governments of the United States or Canada or implementation of public health protection measures and/or emergency response procedures.

     
  • Mutual aid: Aid to another public health agency in the form of personnel, equipment, facilities, services, supplies, or other resources appropriate to public health programs, including but not limited to inspections; vaccination clinics; centers for the distribution of pharmaceuticals; administrative assistance; specimen collection, conveyance, and testing; consulting; environmental assessment; and other programs.

     
  • Party: A governmental entity or agency that has adopted and executed the Agreement.

     
  • Public health emergency: An occurrence or condition within a Party’s jurisdiction which results in a situation of such magnitude or consequence that it cannot be adequately handled by the Party such that the Party determines the necessity and advisability of requesting mutual aid, including but not limited to, bioterrorism or terrorism events, outbreaks or release of dangerously contagious or infectious disease, infectious agents, chemical agents, or toxins, natural disasters, technological hazards, man-made disasters, civil emergencies, community disorders, insurgency, enemy attack, or other public health emergencies that possess the high probability of death, long-term disability, or substantial future harm in the affected population.

     
  • Public health event: An occurrence or imminent threat of an illness, communicable disease or health condition with the potential for cross-border implications that could trigger implementation of emergency health response procedures or reporting requirements or requests under the governing law or regulations of any of the signatories’ jurisdictions or of the Governments of the United States or Canada.

     
  • Requesting Party (alternatively, "Receiving Agency" or "Recipient"): A Party that requests assistance from other Parties.

     
  • Responding Party (alternatively, "Sending Agency" or "Provider"): A Party that provides assistance to a requesting Party.
 
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