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COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Will Not End in January 2023

COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Will Not End in January 2023

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Courtesy of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did not provide states and health care providers with a 60-day notice of the termination of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) last Friday, meaning it will not end in mid-January 2023.

The most recent extension of the PHE occurred on October 13, 2022. The PHE dates from January 2020 and has been renewed for 90 days ever since.

The PHE permits, among other things, emergency use authorization of vaccines, access to funding to address the emergency, and deployment of military trauma care providers.

Renewing the PHE declaration ensures health care providers and state and territorial health departments have continued flexibility to respond to the pandemic, helping save lives.

Public health officials expect another COVID-19 surge during the winter, as more people gather inside for holiday celebrations, which will make it much easier to spread the virus. The omicron subvariants are becoming more dominant in the United States and some may prove more resistant to the vaccines. However, the vaccines remain by far the best way to avoid contracting COVID-19 and, even if an infection does occur, the vaccines usually make the symptoms milder than they otherwise would be.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters in October that how the United States responds to the COVID-19 virus during the autumn and winter of 2022 and 2023 will determine if the PHE is renewed in January.

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