The secretary of health shall:
Exercise all the powers and perform all the duties prescribed by law with respect to public health and vital statistics;
Investigate and study factors relating to the preservation, promotion, and improvement of the health of the people, the causes of morbidity and mortality, and the effects of the environment and other conditions upon the public health, and report the findings to the state board of health for such action as the board determines is necessary;
Strictly enforce all laws for the protection of the public health and the improvement of sanitary conditions in the state, and all rules, regulations, and orders of the state board of health;
Enforce the public health laws of the state and the rules and regulations promulgated by the department or the board of health in local matters, when in its opinion an emergency exists and the local board of health has failed to act with sufficient promptness or efficiency, or is unable for reasons beyond its control to act, or when no local board has been established, and all expenses so incurred shall be paid upon demand of the secretary of the department of health by the local health department for which such services are rendered, out of moneys accruing to the credit of the municipality or the local health department in the current expense fund of the county;
Investigate outbreaks and epidemics of disease that may occur and advise local health officers as to measures to be taken to prevent and control the same;
Exercise general supervision over the work of all local health departments and establish uniform reporting systems by local health officers to the state department of health;
Have the same authority as local health officers, except that the secretary shall not exercise such authority unless the local health officer fails or is unable to do so, or when in an emergency the safety of the public health demands it, or by agreement with the local health officer or local board of health;
Cause to be made from time to time, personal health and sanitation inspections at state owned or contracted institutions and facilities to determine compliance with sanitary and health care standards as adopted by the department, and require the governing authorities thereof to take such action as will conserve the health of all persons connected therewith, and report the findings to the governor;
Review and approve plans for public water system design, engineering, operation, maintenance, financing, and emergency response, as required under state board of health rules;
Take such measures as the secretary deems necessary in order to promote the public health, to establish or participate in the establishment of health educational or training activities, and to provide funds for and to authorize the attendance and participation in such activities of employees of the state or local health departments and other individuals engaged in programs related to or part of the public health programs of the local health departments or the state department of health. The secretary is also authorized to accept any funds from the federal government or any public or private agency made available for health education training purposes and to conform with such requirements as are necessary in order to receive such funds; and
Establish and maintain laboratory facilities and services as are necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the department.
Any emergency order issued by the secretary in response to a proclaimed state of emergency must be narrowly tailored to the emergency and use the least restrictive means necessary to accomplish a compelling government interest.
An order issued under (a) of this subsection may not continue for longer than thirty days unless extended or modified by the legislature through concurrent resolution. If the legislature is not in session, the order or policy may be extended or modified in writing by the majority and minority leaders of the senate and the speaker and the minority leader of the house of representatives until the legislature can extend the waiver or suspension by concurrent resolution.
The local health officer, acting under the direction of the local board of health or under direction of the administrative officer appointed under RCW 70.05.040 or 70.05.035, if any, shall:
Enforce the public health statutes of the state, rules of the state board of health and the secretary of health, and all local health rules, regulations and ordinances within his or her jurisdiction including imposition of penalties authorized under RCW 70A.125.030 and 70A.105.120, the confidentiality provisions in RCW 70.02.220 and rules adopted to implement those provisions, and filing of actions authorized by RCW 43.70.190;
Take such action as is necessary to maintain health and sanitation supervision over the territory within his or her jurisdiction;
Control and prevent the spread of any dangerous, contagious or infectious diseases that may occur within his or her jurisdiction;
Inform the public as to the causes, nature, and prevention of disease and disability and the preservation, promotion and improvement of health within his or her jurisdiction;
Prevent, control or abate nuisances which are detrimental to the public health;
Attend all conferences called by the secretary of health or his or her authorized representative;
Collect such fees as are established by the state board of health or the local board of health for the issuance or renewal of licenses or permits or such other fees as may be authorized by law or by the rules of the state board of health;
Inspect, as necessary, expansion or modification of existing public water systems, and the construction of new public water systems, to assure that the expansion, modification, or construction conforms to system design and plans;
Take such measures as he or she deems necessary in order to promote the public health, to participate in the establishment of health educational or training activities, and to authorize the attendance of employees of the local health department or individuals engaged in community health programs related to or part of the programs of the local health department.
Any emergency order issued by a local health officer in response to a proclaimed state of emergency must be narrowly tailored to the emergency and use the least restrictive means necessary to accomplish a compelling government interest.
An order issued under (a) of this subsection may not continue for longer than thirty days unless extended or modified by the legislature through concurrent resolution. If the legislature is not in session, the order may be extended or modified in writing by the majority and minority leaders of the senate and the speaker and the minority leader of the house of representatives until the legislature can extend the waiver or suspension by concurrent resolution.