Fed continues public health emergency status for COVID-19

Nov 12, 2022 — The federal government on Friday took no action to lift the COVID-19 pandemic’s status as a public health emergency, meaning free vaccines and healthcare services to fight COVID will be available beyond mid-January.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has promised states 60 days before lifting the public health emergency designation, which was last extended to Jan. 11. Friday would have been the deadline if HHS had planned to lift it.

With HHS taking no action, the public health emergency will remain in place beyond January 11, 2023. CNBC and other news organizations reported. The government did not say what would happen next. The public health emergency has been renewed every 90 days since it was first declared by the Trump administration in January 2020.

The declaration enabled major changes across the healthcare system to deal with the pandemic, including the free distribution of vaccines, tests and treatments. It has also expanded telehealth services and expanded Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to millions more Americans.

As winter approaches and another COVID surge is possible, health officials have warned these services will be needed again.

The number of new COVID cases has increased by 8% over the past 14 days, while the number of new hospital admissions has increased by 3% over the period. The New York Times reported. According to The Times, deaths related to COVID have fallen by about 10% to about 317 a day over the past two weeks.

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