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Chaos brews in US with jumble of conflicting emergency decrees

Todd Shields, Chris Dolmetsch and Malathi Nayak, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

Hickox, who was healthy throughout, later filed suit against New Jersey, where she was isolated in a tent outside a Newark hospital. In a settlement the state agreed to procedural protections to ensure that quarantine only occurs when medically necessary, according to the American Civil Liberties Union that handled the case for her. The judge concluded the government didn't prove the nurse posed a danger to others.

The rapidly evolving jigsaw of state and local restrictions in response to the novel coronavirus pose "an interesting test," said Hodge, the Arizona State professor.

Businesses staying open against orders can be controlled by threats to revoke their licenses, or to fine them, he said.

Individuals present judgment calls -- would police really want to raid a building to break up a gathering of, say 20 people?

"I would not get mesmerized by the thought that we're going to see thousands of Americans imprisoned," Hodge said. Punishment will be reserved for the "truly recalcitrant," he said.


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