Texas Health and Safety Code

Sec. § 81.003

In this chapter:


“Communicable disease” means an illness that occurs through the transmission of an infectious agent or its toxic products from a reservoir to a susceptible host, either directly, as from an infected person or animal, or indirectly through an intermediate plant or animal host, a vector, or the inanimate environment.


“Emergency response employee or volunteer” means an individual acting in the course and scope of employment or service as a volunteer as emergency medical service personnel, a peace officer, a detention officer, a county jailer, or a fire fighter.


“Designated infection control officer” means the person serving as an entity’s designated infection control officer under Section 81.012 (Designated Infection Control Officer).


“Health authority” means:


a physician appointed as a health authority under Chapter 121 (Local Public Health Reorganization Act) or the health authority’s designee; or


a physician appointed as a regional director under Chapter 121 (Local Public Health Reorganization Act) who performs the duties of a health authority or the regional director’s designee.


“Health professional” means an individual whose:


vocation or profession is directly or indirectly related to the maintenance of the health of another individual or of an animal; and


duties require a specified amount of formal education and may require a special examination, certificate or license, or membership in a regional or national association.


“Local health department” means a department created under Chapter 121 (Local Public Health Reorganization Act).


“Long-term care facility” means a facility licensed or regulated under Chapter 242 (Convalescent and Nursing Facilities and Related Institutions), 247 (Assisted Living Facilities), or 252 (Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals With an Intellectual Disability).


“Peace officer” has the meaning assigned by Article 2.12 (Who Are Peace Officers), Code of Criminal Procedure. The term includes a sheriff or constable.


“Physician” means a person licensed to practice medicine by the Texas Medical Board.


“Public health district” means a district created under Chapter 121 (Local Public Health Reorganization Act).


“Public health disaster” means:


a declaration by the governor of a state of disaster; and


a determination by the commissioner that there exists an immediate threat from a communicable disease that:


poses a high risk of death or serious long-term disability to a large number of people; and


creates a substantial risk of public exposure because of the disease’s high level of contagion or the method by which the disease is transmitted.


“Reportable disease” means a disease or condition included in the list of reportable diseases and includes a disease that is designated as reportable under Section 81.048 (Notification of Emergency Response Employee or Volunteer).


“Resident of this state” means a person who:


is physically present and living voluntarily in this state;


is not in the state for temporary purposes; and


intends to make a home in this state, which may be demonstrated by the presence of personal effects at a specific abode in the state; employment in the state; possession of a Texas driver’s license, motor vehicle registration, voter registration, or other similar documentation; or other pertinent evidence.


“School authority” means:


the superintendent of a public school system or the superintendent’s designee; or


the principal or other chief administrative officer of a private school.


“Sexually transmitted disease” means an infection, with or without symptoms or clinical manifestations, that may be transmitted from one person to another during, or as a result of, sexual relations between two persons and that may:


produce a disease in, or otherwise impair the health of, either person; or


cause an infection or disease in a fetus in utero or a newborn.
Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.167, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Amended by:
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 314 (H.B. 1690), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.
Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.0216, eff. April 2, 2015.
Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1278 (S.B. 1574), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2015.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 786 (H.B. 1848), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Last accessed
Jun. 7, 2021