Governor Newsom to End the COVID-19 State of Emergency

Governor Newsom to End the COVID-19 State of Emergency

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday, Oct. 17, that the COVID-19 State of Emergency will end on Feb. 28, 2023, charting the path to phasing out one of the most effective and necessary tools that California has used to combat COVID-19. The announcement was made in a press release posted on the Newsom’s State of California website,

This timeline gives the health care system needed flexibility to handle any potential surge that may occur after the holidays in January and February, in addition to providing state and local partners the time needed to prepare for this phaseout and set themselves up for success afterwards, the report reads.

Newsom believes California has the tools needed to continue fighting COVID-19 when the State of Emergency terminates at the end of February, including vaccines and boosters, testing, treatments and other mitigation measures like masking and indoor ventilation.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been guided by the science and data — moving quickly and strategically to save lives. The State of Emergency was an effective and necessary tool that we utilized to protect our state, and we wouldn’t have gotten to this point without it,” said Newsom. “With the operational preparedness that we’ve built up and the measures that we’ll continue to employ moving forward, California is ready to phase out this tool.”

To maintain California’s COVID-19 laboratory testing and therapeutics treatment capacity, the Newsom Administration will be seeking two statutory changes immediately upon the Legislature’s return. First, the continued ability of nurses to dispense COVID-19 therapeutics. Second, the continued ability of laboratory workers to solely process COVID-19 tests.

“California’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has prepared us for whatever comes next. As we move into this next phase, the infrastructure and processes we’ve invested in and built up will provide us the tools to manage any ups and downs in the future,” said Secretary of the California Health & Human Services Agency, Dr. Mark Ghaly. “While the threat of this virus is still real, our preparedness and collective work have helped turn this once crisis emergency into a manageable situation.”

Alameda County health officials warned residents that this news does not mean we are clear of COVID. “COVID-19 is circulating in our communities and infection can lead to severe consequences,’ wrote the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) in a press release after Newsom’s announcement.

The ACPHD said that residents should stay up to date on vaccination, including the updated booster at least two months after completing the primary vaccination series or any previous booster for everyone 5 and older.

“COVID-19 cases are expected to increase this winter and residents should take the following precautions when gathering including planning how and where to access treatment to prevent hospitalization and death,” according to ACPHD.

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