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A Closer Look at Emergency Legal Preparedness and Response
Public health officials may face many critical legal and policy decisions during public health emergencies, including:
- Inter-jurisdictional legal coordination of federal, tribal, state and local actors in real-time emergencies under changing legal norms
- The ability to issue isolation or quarantine orders, or other social distancing methods, to control public health threats
- Whether to close or dismiss schools, or other public assemblies, temporarily or for prolonged periods to prevent the spread of communicable diseases
- The authority to mandate vaccinations for minors or autonomous adults, including health care workers
- Licensing, credentialing and privileging out-of-state health practitioners
- Inter-jurisdictional management of scarce resources including personnel, vaccines, shelter and sustenance
- Omnipresent concerns over liability of public health practitioners during emergencies
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