Advisory Board October 20, 2021

Public health departments across the country are struggling with staff burnout, limited funding, and new restrictions on their authority—shortfalls that could make the country even less prepared for the next pandemic than it was for Covid-19, according to the New York Times.

More than 30 states limit public health powers

According to the Times, legislators across the country have approved more than 100 new laws limiting local and state health powers, and hundreds of more pieces of similar legislation—across all 50 states—are under consideration.

For example, in Kansas, the state legislature passed a series of laws that limited Covid-19 contact tracing; transferred the authority for health decisions to elected leaders; and allowed anyone “aggrieved” by a health order, such as...

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