In this uncertain time, the Network is reviewing our activities and trying to anticipate the best steps to take in the next weeks and months. Out of an abundance of caution, and to ensure the safety of attendees, we have decided to postpone the Public Health Law Conference from September 2020 to spring of 2021. We are currently working with the conference venue to determine the new dates and will share that information as soon as we can. If you have already registered for the Conference, you can find more information here.
Law and Policy Perspectives
Privacy and Public Disclosure during a Pandemic
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow across the United States, so do feelings of uncertainty and concern. The public and the media are in search of answers. How many people in their community have positive diagnoses? Has someone at a family member’s long-term care facility tested positive? What about their neighbors in a multi-family apartment complex? For public health officers, the answers about how much information to disclose are not always clear. The Network’s Can I? Must I? Should I? framework provides guidance for public health decision-making.
The Drug Enforcement Administration Waives Some Barriers to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has temporarily waived or clarified several regulations that may act as barriers to providing life-saving medications to those undergoing treatment for opioid use disorder during the COVID-19 Pandemic. These changes have the potential to dramatically increase access to these medication and the DEA should strongly consider extending many of these changes for the duration of the opioid public health emergency, which will remain even after the threat from COVID-19 subsides.
Summary of Authority and Actions Regarding Public Health Emergencies (Ohio and Pennsylvania)
These documents are intended to assist health officers and their attorneys by identifying potential actions during a health emergency, who may act, and what is required of the officers taking action. Though the details of these documents apply only in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the legal provisions have similar counterparts in all other states. Lawyers in other states may have developed, or could develop, comparable summaries for their states.
Legality of Dispensing and Administering Expired Naloxone in the District of Columbia
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have modified their laws to increase access to naloxone, the standard first-line treatment for opioid overdose. While these laws take a number of approaches to increase access to this life-saving medication, none explicitly address the legality of dispensing naloxone that is past its expiration date. This fact sheet discusses whether District of Columbia laws forbid the prescription, dispensing, distribution, possession, or administration of expired naloxone and whether such actions impact the risk of civil liability for medical professionals who prescribe or dispense naloxone or laypeople who distribute or administer it.
COVID-19: Legal and Policy Strategies to Promote Mental Health
TODAY: May 21 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic involves massive disruptions to daily life in the United States. Large-scale illness and loss of life are producing widespread grief. Social distancing and stay at home orders may lead to social isolation and loneliness along with rapidly reconfigured family roles and responsibilities. Economic disruption generates anxiety and challenges in meeting basic needs. What programs, policies, and laws are available to help those seeking to promote skills in self-care, stress management, coping, and resilience in their own workplaces and the broader community? Join us for an overview of the mental health implications of COVID-19 and the role of laws and policies in the initial stages of the mental health response.
COVID-19: Navigating Public Health Emergency Legal Responses Underlying Re-opening State/Local Economies
Thursday, May 28 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET
Join us for a webinar focusing on emerging constitutional and other legal and policy challenges to state and local efforts to re-open their economies despite the concerns of public health officials and health care practitioners over the potential for significant impact on communal health. The webinar will include an assessment of emerging re-opening efforts among states and localities, strategic public health law and policy responses, identification of specific legal and policy controversies and projections of forthcoming resolutions of legal or policy issues in the interest of the public’s health.
COVID-19: Innovations in Nutrition Programming to Address Food Insecurity
Thursday, June 4 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Tens of millions of Americas have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Among the public health challenges that accompanies this devastating loss of employment is an alarming increase in food insecurity. Join us for a webinar on how child nutrition programs, specifically the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, can be used to support students during the pandemic. The webinar will also include a summary of how SNAP and WIC have been modified in response to the pandemic to better address the needs of Americans, an explanation of how government is working to reduce food waste on farms and support the operations of the Nation’s food banks, and examples of innovative policies implemented by states to address the food security of their vulnerable citizens.
Individual Privacy Rights Regarding Data Held by Public Health Agencies or Departments
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised numerous questions with regard to public health data sharing and privacy. This guidance addresses the privacy rights individuals have with regard to their personal health information that is held by a public health agency or department.
Network Now Accepting Applications for Legal and Policy Assistance to Address Climate Change
The Network for Public Health Law is pleased to announce this call for applications from those seeking legal and policy support for efforts to mitigate or adapt to the public health impacts of climate change. Learn more and apply.
The Network is seeking a Public Health Attorney to work in its Northern Region Office, located in Edina, Minnesota. The Public Health Attorney will provide legal technical assistance, conduct trainings, develop tools and educational materials, and facilitate opportunities for networking and peer-assistance on a wide variety of public health law topics, including COVID-19 response and recovery. The Attorney will develop particular areas of focus related to the intersection of health equity and at least two of the following, as determined through the needs of the Network and interest of the attorney: public health powers and authority, mental health and well-being, rural health, telehealth, and climate and health. Learn more and apply.
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The Network for Public Health Law provides information and technical assistance on issues related to public health. The legal information and assistance provided in this document does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.