Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 November 2016
We sought to better understand the tools used by public health officials in the control of tuberculosis (TB).
We conducted a series of in-depth interviews with public health officials at the local, state, and federal levels to better understand how health departments around the country use isolation measures to control TB.
State and local public health officials’ use of social distancing tools in infection control varies widely, particularly in response to handling noncompliant patients. Judicial and community support, in addition to financial resources, impacted the incentives and enablers used to maintain isolation of infectious TB patients.
Instituting social distancing requires authorities and resources and can be impacted by evidentiary standards, risk assessments, political will, and community support. Awareness of these factors, as well as knowledge of state and local uses of social distancing measures, is essential to understanding what actions are most likely to be instituted during a public health emergency and to target interventions to better prepare health departments to utilize the best available tools necessary to control the spread of disease. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:337–342)