The Navajo Nation Responds to COVID-19

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Tribal HealthSocial and Community Context

June 30, 2020

The Navajo Nation has a long history of having morbidity and mortality rates that are much higher than the rest of the nation due to systemic oppression, underfunding by the Federal government, and lack of resources. In light of these factors, it should come as no surprise that the Navajo Nation is suffering extensively due to COVID-19 as compared to other parts of the U.S.

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COVID-19 Pandemic and Tobacco Sales in the United States

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

June 30, 2020
by Brooke Torton

COVID-19 has unquestionably altered every facet of daily life, including where and how goods are purchased. For those who use tobacco products, including vape products, a patchwork of state laws continues to determine where these products may be sold because of orders classifying businesses as essential and non-essential.

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COVID-19 and the Election: In a Public Health Emergency, We Need to Be Guided by Experts

Network NewsCOVID-19 and Health Equity

June 26, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has helped exacerbate existing barriers to voting and election participation, making it more difficult for people across the country to exercise their right to vote. As the nation races to contain the spread of COVID-19, we must protect our voting systems and ensure that everyone can safely and securely vote throughout the remaining 2020 election cycle.

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Policing as a Social Determinant of Health: Addressing the Public Health Crisis of Systemic Racism

Law & Policy Insights

June 18, 2020

Although racism in the context of policing is often seen as a criminal justice issue, the reality is that racism and policing disparately affect health outcomes, and ultimately all aspects of life, for Black individuals and people of color. Racism and police violence are public health crises. We can begin to solve this crisis by prioritizing policing and systemic racism as critical social determinants of health. Doing so will truly begin to address the underlying needs of vulnerable communities.

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We Need to Address Structural Racism as a Public Health Crisis

Network NewsCOVID-19 and Health Equity

June 4, 2020

We’re seeing it first-hand in our communities and in decades of evidence: racist practices perpetuated and sanctioned by laws and policies are at the root of the suffering endured by so many people of color, especially Black people, in America. In the midst of a pandemic that is disproportionately affecting the Black community, the brutal killing of George Floyd is yet another example of how structural racism enables egregious harm.

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Workplace Disparities: Gaps in COVID-19 Protections for Grocery Workers

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Economic Stability

June 4, 2020

Outside of health care providers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, grocery store workers are among the most at-risk essential employees. Protections for grocery workers are particularly important due to the characteristics of the workforce, a significant number of which are people of color and those with disabilities, along with older adults. Despite having a legal requirement to protect employees in the workplace under federal law, and the added efforts many employers have taken, there are still significant gaps in protections.

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Reopening America: Protecting Employees as They Return to Work During COVID-19

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Social Distancing Measures

May 29, 2020
by Sarah Wetter

Across America, governments are allowing businesses to reopen as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Employees may be eager to return to their jobs and income, but could be at heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission. The "return to work" push is emerging with employees bringing various legal claims. Meanwhile, legislation is arising that could immunize companies complying with state-level or CDC reopening guidance. Yet adhering to guidance is not a foolproof guard against COVID-19, especially as the White House refused to implement CDC’s specific guidelines for reopening businesses such as restaurants, child care centers, churches, and schools. This blog examines legal claims available to employees returning to work and how new legislation could impact public health.

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