A new federal executive order expands the list of illnesses for which you could be detained, isolated, and treated against your will if you are entering the US or traveling between states—even if you are completely healthy. Some states have similar or worse laws that would even allow entry into your home.
President Obama has signed an executive order expanding the list of illnesses that could result in forced detention, isolation, and quarantine for anyone exposed, even if they are not sick. It updates a Bush-era executive order, adding “severe acute respiratory syndromes” except for influenza to the list of detainable communicable diseases.
The Public Health Service Act allows the government to apprehend and detain individuals based on communicable diseases named in the Act, or named by presidential executive orders. Executive orders do not have to get congressional approval.
Not only can people with the disease be forcibly isolated, but the CDC also has the power to quarantine anyone who may have been exposed. The new executive order allows detentions for “diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness…capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled” [italics ours]. In other words, if you have been exposed to one of the listed communicable diseases—even if you do not show symptoms—you may be forcibly detained and quarantined.