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COVID and the Judiciary 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health experts have noted that the social determinants of health have influenced the virus’ spread and toll.  Racism, poverty, homelessness and environmental exposures have all helped to magnify the pandemic’s impact. The pandemic has also spread rapidly in jails, prisons and detention centers.

Litigants have raised the interaction between the SDOH and the pandemic in a wide range of cases, including petitions for compassionate release from prison, prayers to stay evictions, and challenges to the conditions of confinement in immigration detention centers. The impact of social conditions on health have also been relevant in numerous cases in which courts have been called upon to decide the constitutionality of state public health measures. These cases demonstrate why it is now more crucial now than ever that the courts have a deep and sophisticated understanding of how social determinants affect health and relate to legal issues.


Below is a selected list of resources on the topic of COVID-19 and the role of the judiciary. 

For a list of COVID-19 cases, state and federal visit

COVID-19, generally


COVID-19 Economic Relief Bill 

Prison conditions and COVID-19

Immigration Detention and COVID-19

Judicial Action and Immigration Issues during COVID-19



Eviction and COVID-19

COVID-19 and Working Conditions

Biden Administration Initiative on COVID-19 and Equity 

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