Covid19 Who Can Tell You What To Do

April 2, 2021

You’re hearing one thing from the President on COVID-19 about social distancing; another from your governor. Maybe something else from your mayor.

Who takes the lead?


  • Under the Constitution, the job of the federal government is to prevent the spread of highly contagious diseases into the country & in between states.
  • The federal gov’t may limit entry into the U.S., order those inside the U.S. to remain under quarantine and/or isolation, and restrict interstate travel.
  • The last widespread federal quarantine: the 1918 flu epidemic.


  • State & local governments help enforce federal quarantine & isolation orders, and control the spread of diseases within their borders.
  • States may order their own quarantines or less-extreme measures (ex: stay-at-home orders). Generally, federal orders supersede state & local ones.
  • Currently, various cities and states have implemented stay-at-home orders.

Stay-At-Home Orders

  • Each stay-at-home order varies, but the goal of each is the same: to mandate social distancing.
  • Generally, the orders require most residents to avoid leaving home except for necessary activities: i.e., to access medical care, obtain must-have items (ex: food), or run essential errands (ex: walk the dog).
  • Stay-at-home violations are usually misdemeanors.


The federal gov’t takes the lead in the case of widespread communicable diseases but needs teamwork from the states.

The policies put into place recognize states are in the best position to know how to serve their own needs. For example, the federal gov’t is deploying National Guard troops to 3 states, but each state’s governor is directing them.

The President is deploying the National Guard to California, New York & Illinois. These states have stay-at-home orders or similar measures in place: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, New Jersey, & New York. Massachusetts & West Virginia orders take effect Tuesday.

COVID-19: WHY a SPIKE in confirmed COVID-19 cases in America? CLICK HERE

COVID-19: Patient Zero CLICK HERE

COVID-19: Lessons From The Past CLICK HERE

by Jenna Lee,