How is isolation and quarantine enforced during a disease outbreak?

If a quarantinable disease is suspected or identified, the CDC may issue a Federal isolation or quarantine order. Public health authorities at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels may sometimes seek help from police or other law enforcement officers to enforce a public health order.  

Fines or Imprisonment

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Coast Guard officers are authorized to help enforce federal quarantine orders.  Breaking a federal quarantine order is punishable by fines and imprisonment.  Federal law allows the conditional release of persons from quarantine if they comply with medical monitoring and surveillance.

Content created by Digital Communications Division (DCD)
Content last reviewed on September 4, 2009