No time to wait: Commandeering healthcare facilities in the age of COVID-19




pandemic, hospitals, emergency takings power


In this editorial, we address the urgent need to rapidly expand hospital and ICU capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic and future infectious disease outbreaks. As a remedy to this problem currently plaguing many US municipalities, we discuss states' Emergency Takings Power, an alternative to eminent domain proceedings that allows the immediate commandeering of vacant hospitals without exorbitant costs or the need to litigate fair market price up front. We briefly describe the legal basis for emergency takings power and how states can empower local municipalities to act on that power during public health emergencies.

Author Biographies

Taleed El-Sabawi, JD, PhD

Elon University School of Law, Greensboro, North Carolina

Leo Beletsky, JD, MPH

Northeastern University School of Law; Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts; Division of Infectious Disease and Global Health, UCSD School of Medicine, La Jolla, California

Cynthia Hernandez, JD

Elon University School of Law, Greensboro, North Carolina

Jennifer J. Carroll, PhD, MPH

Elon University College of Arts and Sciences, Elon, North Carolina; Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island


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How to Cite

El-Sabawi, JD, PhD, T., L. Beletsky, JD, MPH, C. Hernandez, JD, and J. J. Carroll, PhD, MPH. “No Time to Wait: Commandeering Healthcare Facilities in the Age of COVID-19”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 18, no. 7, July 2020, pp. 41-43, doi:10.5055/jem.2020.0524.