HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Thursday, August 27, 2020

A Chronological Overview of the Federal, State, and Local Response to COVID-19

Lindsay Cloud (Temple University), Katie Moran-McCabe (Center for Public Health Law Research), Elizabeth Platt (Temple University), Nadya Prood (Temple University), A Chronological Overview of the Federal, State, and Local Response to COVID-19, Assessing Legal Responses to COVID-19. Boston: Public Health Law Watch

Since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the United States, federal, state, and local governments have taken varying degrees of legal action to prevent the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact on the public’s health and health care systems. Federal action has primarily consisted of national emergency declarations, travel bans, guidance on social distancing measures, and laws aimed at mitigating the economic impacts of COVID-19. Legal action at the state and local level has focused heavily on social distancing requirements and other emergency measures to reduce the spread of the virus, including stay-at-home orders, prohibitions on large gatherings, closures of non-essential businesses and schools, and the mandatory use of face masks. This Chapter provides an overview of these actions, chronicling the federal and state legal response from January to July 2020, and highlighting policy trends at the local level from March to July 2020.

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