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Public Health Emergency Legal Preparedness Clearinghouse

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Within the last decade, a number of large-scale natural and man-made disasters have brought attention to the need to bolster laws and intensify efforts to foster coordinated multi-sector response at the federal, tribal, state, and local levels. The threat of pandemic influenza, the 2001 anthrax attacks, the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have each contributed to a growing awareness of the need for clear legal authority to implement social distancing measures, mandate evacuations, establish guidelines for mass prophylaxis, waive state healthcare regulations, and limit responder liability during a declared emergency. Efforts are also underway in the states to educate the judiciary and establish mutual aid agreements to reinforce relationships across jurisdictions. The Public Health Emergency Preparedness Clearinghouse serves as a central repository for these statutes, regulations, orders, reports, and legal tools, and is intended as an aid to jurisdictions considering updates and clarifications to their own public health emergency legal preparedness activities.




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