The Network was recently contacted by a state attorney with a question regarding emergency legal preparedness. The requestor specifically asked what legal provisions would apply to mutual aid agreements between state laboratories created in order to meet increased demand for laboratory services during a public health emergency.
The Network responded with several pertinent resources on mutual aid agreements. The requestor was referred to two web pages within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Law Program website. These pages offer sample mutual aid agreements, entitled Menu of Suggested Provisions for Public Health Mutual Aid Agreements and Inventory of Mutual Aid Agreements and Related Resources. The Network also noted that the Inventory of Mutual Aid Agreements and Related Resources contains several agreements specifically related to resource sharing between laboratories. In addition, the Network provided specific provisions of the state public health code affecting the operation of the state laboratory and the authority to contract for services. Finally the Network informed the requestor that if the state laboratory were to be transferring specimens as part of its coordination with another laboratory a material transfer agreement would also be needed.