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COVID-19 and Health Equity

Neighborhood and Built Environment

Our health outcomes are strongly influenced by the physical environment we live in, including where we live, work and play.  Historically racist laws, such as redlining, have placed increased health burdens on communities of color; ensuring those communities are located nearer to air pollution hazards and have less access to safe, stable housing and resources to achieve optimal health. These laws and policies create disparities in exposure to COVID-19 at places of employment, negatively impact the community’s ability to thrive in the face of stay at home orders intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and contribute to underlying health conditions that lead to more severe outcomes for those that contract COVID-19. Laws and policies to create greater equity in neighborhoods and the built environment must be developed, implemented, evaluated, strengthened, and spread.

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Real-time assistance for questions related to COVID-19 response

The Network can assist local, county, tribal and state health agencies with timely guidance, resources and information critical to key COVID-19 response measures, particularly in the areas of:

  • public health authority and emergency powers,
  • constitutionality of practices,
  • health data privacy,
  • protections for disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals,
  • crisis standards of care, and
  • ethical decision making.


Legal Research & Assistance

Experienced legal experts are available to answer questions and provide research, analysis and guidance. Let us know what you’re working on and together we can figure out how we can help.

Legal Assistance Library

Explore the Network’s Legal Assistance Library to find answers to commonly asked questions on a variety of public health topics.