It’s been more than six months since states first began quarantines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, research from O’Neill IUPUI is shedding new light on the many executive orders enacted to mitigate the spread of the virus.
O’Neill assistant professor Peter Federman, former O’Neill faculty member Cali Curley (now at the University of Miami), and a team of student research assistants began the project in March. A grant from the Office of the Indiana University Vice President for Research helped get the project off the ground, and the O’Neill School provided matching funds. Thus far, they’ve collected and coded more than 1,500 executive orders.
“We’re really focused on tracking and pulling out the critical pieces of information that are impacting people’s lives,” Federman says. “We’re bringing all of it together and providing a simple way for people to understand what’s really happening, without having to read through 60-page orders in legalese.”
In October, they’ll launch their first public dashboard tracking executive orders, from the time when states first started closures until they began to reopen. The idea is to have all the information in one easily accessible place that serves as both a resource on state actions and a record of how state laws are changing because of COVD-19.
“There are a lot of executive orders that touch every aspect of life, well beyond COVID,” Federman says. “This project tracks how the state policy and legal environments are changing as the pandemic stretches on and as states move between reopening and closure.”