Communicable and Certain Other Diseases - STD Modernization

The Communicable and Certain Other Diseases rules outline requirements for the prevention and control of infectious and noninfectious diseases. The Notifiable Conditions rules outline requirements for reporting information that is necessary for public health officials to protect the public's health by enabling them to identify and track communicable diseases and other conditions.

During the 2020 Legislative Session, the Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESHB) 1551, Modernizing the control of certain communicable diseases (Chapter 76, Laws of 2020). This bill modernizes the state’s control of communicable disease laws by ending statutory HIV/AIDS exceptionalism, reducing HIV-related stigma, defelonizing HIV exposure, and removing barriers to HIV testing. The new law took effect June 11, 2020.

The Board adopted amendments to chapter 246-101 WAC Notifiable Conditions, at its March 2021 public meeting. Amendments include minor editorial revisions consistent with the changes in ESHB 1551. More information is available on the Notifiable Conditions rulemaking web page.

On January 12, 2022 the Board adopted amendments to the Communicable and Certain Other Diseases chapter (246-100 WAC). Changes to the rules include, but are not limited to establishing or amending:  

  • Reporting requirements for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Procedures for investigations of sexually transmitted disease under RCW 70.24.024
  • Behavior that endangers the public health, for purposes of RCW 70.24.024, based upon generally accepted standards of medical and public health sciences
  • Definition, for the purposes of RCW 70.24.120, of specimens that can be obtained and tests that can be administered for sexually transmitted diseases, blood-borne pathogens, and other infections
  • Categories of employment that are at risk of substantial exposure to a blood-borne pathogen
  • Definition, for purposes of RCW 70.24.340, 70.24.360, and 70.24.370, of what constitutes an exposure that presents a possible risk of transmission of a blood-borne pathogen in occupational settings, jail facilities, and Department of Corrections facilities

The concise explanatory statement summarizes the differences between the proposed rules and adopted rules and the response to public comments.

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Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050, RCW 70.24.130
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Related Links: Meeting Materials