Wendy Parmet, a law professor at Northeastern University School of Law, is one of three legal scholars who prepared a report for the American Civil Liberties Union that warned about overreach by the government in responding to pandemics. While Parmet said the new text is very broad, it has clear limits.

“It only applies to those with symptoms of a disease that have caused or have the potential to cause a pandemic, or have the potential of causing mortality or serious morbidity,” Parmet said. “I wouldn’t think the typical cold would apply.”

In fact, the order specifically excludes the flu.