California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that California will be ending their state of emergency, which was put in place over two years ago to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“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. 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,” Newsom said.
The official end date of the state of emergency will be February 28th, 2023.
As the state of emergency winds down, California’s “SMARTER Plan” will guide California’s “strategy to best protect people from COVID-19,” Newsom’s office said.
Newsom’s administration confirmed they will be looking to make statutory changes immediately upon the return of state lawmakers to the legislature, which includes permitting nurses to give out COVID-19 medicine and for laboratory workers to focus solely on making COVID-19 tests.
Mark Ghaly, who is the secretary of California’s Health & Human Services Agency, issued a statement regarding the transition out of the state of emergency.
“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. 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.”
Last week, the federal government decided to extended its COVID-19 public health emergency until January 11, 2023.
This came despite President Biden recently announcing that the pandemic “is over.” However, health officials have asked for caution due to a potential spike in cases over winter.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SF CHRONICLE
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