The third anniversary of the global Coronavirus pandemic is on Saturday March 11, 2023. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization’s declared the global pandemic. A lot has changed since then.
On February 9, 2023 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Press Release regarding the continuation of the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19. Based on current COVID-19 trends, HHS is planning for the PHE, declared under Section 319 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, to expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023. The response to the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, remains a public health priority, but thanks to the Administration’s whole of government approach to combatting the virus, the nation is in a better place in our response than we were three years ago, and we can transition away from the emergency phase.
Over the last two years, the Administration has effectively implemented the largest adult vaccination program in U.S. history, with nearly 270 million Americans receiving at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. As a result of this and other efforts, since the peak of the Omicron surge at the end of January 2022:
- Daily COVID-19 reported cases are down 92%;
- COVID-19 deaths have declined by over 80%; and
- New COVID-19 hospitalizations are down nearly 80%.
What will not be affected?
The Administration is committed to ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines and treatments will be widely accessible to all who need them.
What will be affected?
Many COVID-19 PHE flexibilities and policies have already been made permanent or otherwise extended for some time. However, HHS continues to review the flexibilities and policies implemented during the COVID-19 PHE to determine whether others can and should remain in place, even for a temporary duration, to facilitate jurisdictions’ ability to provide care and resources to Americans. Still, others will expire.