Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

W. Va. Code 16-3-3

Summary Title

Power to Detain Suspected Infected Vessels and Trains


An employee or agent of the West Virginia Department of Health can detain a ship or train from arriving at its destination in West Virginia if there is reason to believe that a failure to do so would result in the spread of a communicable disease.

Full Title

Communicable diseases on vessels or trains; offenses; penalty

Full Text

The state department of health, its agents and employees, and the local boards of health, in the absence of the state department, its agents and employees, when they have reason to believe that any steamboat or other watercraft navigating the Ohio river or its tributaries in this State, or any other of the waters of the State, or bordering thereon, is infected with any communicable disease, may prevent the landing of such boat or craft at any point in this State. They may also, if they have reason to believe that any railroad train, coach or other vehicle passing on or along any railroad in this State, contains any person having a communicable disease or any thing infected with contagious matter, detain such train, coach or vehicle at any station or point on such railroad where it can be done with safety, for a time sufficient to examine the same, and if found to be so infected, for a time sufficient to disinfect the same; and if the conductor or person in charge of such train, coach or vehicle, shall willfully fail or refuse to stop the said train, coach or vehicle for the time aforesaid, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished as prescribed in section two [§ 16-3-2] of this article.