Homeland Security Issues Alert On Mandatory Quarantine Procedures

The Department of Homeland Security has sent out an alert to health care providers outlining how BATF, FBI, and U.S. Marshals will be called upon to impose mandatory quarantines in the event of a widespread swine flu outbreak in the U.S.

According to the report, “DHS Assistant Secretary Bridger McGaw circulated the swine flu memo, which was obtained by CBSNews.com, on Monday night. It says: “The Department of Justice has established legal federal authorities pertaining to the implementation of a quarantine and enforcement. Under approval from HHS, the Surgeon General has the authority to issue quarantines.”

The memo states, “U.S. Customs and Coast Guard Officers assist in the enforcement of quarantine orders. Other DOJ law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Marshals, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives may also enforce quarantines. Military personnel are not authorized to engage in enforcement.”

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