American Journal of Public Health  |  February 15, 2023

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A pandemic can test and reshape health systems like no other event. The same can be said for the profound impacts of pandemics on public health law and governance. January 2023 marks the third anniversary of COVID-19. As the pandemic wrought devastation on health and the economy, public health officials exercised unprecedented powers, ranging from orders to mask, test, and vaccinate through to social distancing, school and business closures, and stay-at-home orders. These powers unleashed an avalanche of legal challenges to curb emergency health powers and agencies’ ability to safeguard the public’s health and safety. 

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