At least 26 states have limited public health powers during pandemic, analysis finds

More than half of states in the U.S. have passed laws during the COVID-19 pandemic that reduce government authority to protect public health, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of hundreds of pieces of legislation.

The states are in multiple regions of the country.

Five findings from the examination:

1. Legislators in all states have proposed bills to limit public health powers since the beginning of the pandemic, although not all were pushed through.

2. At least 16 states limited the power of public health officials to order mask mandates, quarantines or isolation.

3. At least 17 states passed laws prohibiting COVID-19 vaccine mandates or passports, or made it easier to skirt shot requirements.

4. At least nine states have new laws prohibiting or limiting mask mandates. 

5. Five states have executive orders or a court ruling limiting mask requirements.

Read the full KHN report here.

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