The president and all 50 governors have declared health emergencies to combat the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While researchers race for vaccines, officials are implementing physical distancing, including orders to stay at home, restrict travel, and close non-essential businesses. To limit cross-border spread, a few states have issued mandatory quarantines for interstate travelers. Models suggest physical distancing would have to persist for 3 months to mitigate peak impacts on health systems and could continue on an intermittent basis for 12-18 months. What legal powers do governments have? What is the role of the courts? How can we balance public health with personal and economic rights?
The Journal of the American Medical Association, published online April 2, 2020
Scholarly Commons Citation
Gostin, Lawrence O. and Wiley, Lindsay F., "Governmental Public Health Powers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Stay-at-home Orders, Business Closures, and Travel Restrictions" (2020). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2254.