Elder Care, Evictions, Domestic Abuse Among COVID-19 Legal Issues Addressed by Arizona Law Faculty

Jan. 20, 2021

As COVID-19 persists, University of Arizona Law faculty continue to share their expertise on legal issues raised by the pandemic. Recent media coverage includes: 

Supreme Court to hear case on pandemic aid for tribes 
Arizona Public Media 
Jan. 16, 2021 

The Supreme Court has announced it will hear a case debating how pandemic relief funds will be distributed to Indigenous tribes, specifically if Alaska Native Corporations qualify. Through the pandemic, different governments, lawsuits and courts have disagreed on who qualifies meets that definition. Arizona Law professor Melissa Tatum is interviewed. 

Pima County expands COVID-19 vaccine rollout 
Arizona Public Media 
Jan. 15, 2021 

As counties across Arizona work to inoculate more people, vaccine availability remains a problem. Arizona Law professor of practice Kirin Goff comments on vaccination requirements 

Many States Resist Adapting Worker Safety Rules to Pandemic 
Pew Charitable Trusts 
Jan. 13, 2021 

The lack of strong rules and enforcement has fallen particularly hard on people of color, immigrants and low-wage workers who cannot work remotely and have faced the worst health and economic fallout from the pandemic. Professor Shefali Milczarek-Desai is interviewed.  

COVID-19 vaccine distribution underway in Arizona 
Arizona 360 
December 18, 2020 

Former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona and University of Arizona law professor Tara Sklar explain some of the legal stipulations related to the vaccine and its authorization from the federal government. 

In addition to an increased risk of COVID transmission because of evictions, there are costs associated with these cases that will be borne by taxpayers, analysts say. According, to research by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Arizona Law’s Innovation for Justice Program, if one-quarter of the people who are evicted wind up in homeless shelters, taxpayers could face $130 billion in costs for emergency medical treatment, foster care, shelter and juvenile delinquency services. 

Dozens of Southern Arizona organizations are calling on Gov. Doug Ducey to protect renters after a CDC eviction moratorium expires on Dec. 31. Arizona Law's Mackenzie Pish, program manager for the Innovation for Justice program, discusses the economic, social and community cost that will come from evicting renters during, what is now, the worst part of the pandemic.  

Arizona Law Dean Emerita Toni Massaro discusses whether employers can require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.  

A report by Arizona Law's Innovation for Justice program and the National Low Income Housing Initiative estimates that the public cost of eviction-related homelessness during the pandemic could be upwards of $128 billion. 

Increased home sales and lower inventory are driving up housing costs in the Phoenix area. A study by Arizona Law’s Innovation for Justice Program and the National Low Income Housing Coalition found between 121,372 and 274,000 Arizona households could be at risk of eviction this winter due to the pandemic and economic fallout. 

A wave of evictions could cost social safety net programs more than $60 billion, according to a joint study from New Arizona Law's Innovation for Justice program and National Low Income Housing Coalition on costs associated with eviction-related homelessness. 

A report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Arizona Law's Innovation for Justice program estimates that 6.7 million households are in danger of losing their homes when federal and local limits on evictions expire at the end of the year. 

Arizona Law professor and water policy and law expert Robert Glennon and microbiologist Charles Gerba write for The Conversation on how testing wastewater can give school districts, campuses and businesses early warning signs on the spread of COVID-19. 

Why nursing home aides exposed to COVID-19 aren’t taking sick leave 
The Conversation (reposted by Yahoo News)  
November 23, 2020 

University of Arizona professors Shefali Milczarek-Desai and health law professor Tara Sklar write for the Conversation about why nursing home aides exposed to COVID-19 aren’t taking sick leave. 

Legality of potential COVID-19 vaccination requirements 
Arizona Public Media 
November 20, 2020 
Health Law professor of practice Kirin Goff discusses the history of vaccination requirements on Arizona 360. 

The Shadow Pandemic 
Arizona Public Media  
October 18, 2020  

The UN is reporting a troubling rise in domestic abuse due to COVID-19 lockdowns and is now referring to the crisis as “the Shadow Pandemic.” Negar Katirai, director of the Domestic Violence Law Clinic at the University of Arizona, discusses domestic violence during the pandemic and resources available in Pima county.  

KTAR News 
September 14, 2020 

According to Tara Sklar, inadequate staffing, infection control and poor quality of care were among the main problems facing nursing homes before the pandemic hit. They have now been heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The COVID-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on nursing homes as many became hot spots for the virus. Tara Sklar discusses her report which states the virus brought attention to health and safety issues within facilities that existed far before the 2020 outbreak. 

Citing concerns about the spread of coronavirus, President Donald Trump is sidestepping Congress to pause most evictions through the end of the year. The article cites an August report from Innovation for Justice program that estimates that 30 million to 40 million people would be at risk of being evicted without additional action. 

DIGGING DEEPER: Pandemic Violence 
KVOA News 4 
August 27, 2020 

Negar Katiraidirector of the Domestic Violence Law Clinic at the University of Arizona, discusses domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Although some schools switching to remote learning due to COVID-19 cases among students and staff, TUSD spokesperson cited HIPAA and ADA privacy issues as the reason why district will not be releasing cases per school or site if it doesn’t require a closure. Professor Tara Sklar discusses laws that permit schools to withhold information from the public. 

Given nursing homes’ struggles containing the virus, state and federal legislators have proposed granting them immunity from lawsuits, Arizona Law professor Tara Sklar report says that is not a good idea.