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IN: Biden administration extends Covid public health emergency as highly infectious omicron XBB.1.5

For the Health and Human Services Department said.

The U.S. has renewed the Covid public health emergency every 90 days since the Trump administration first issued the declaration in January 2020.

The emergency declaration has had a vast impact on the U.S. health-care system over the past three years. It has protected public health insurance coverage for millions, provided hospitals with greater flexibility to respond to patient surges and expanded telehealth.

The White House Covid task force led by Dr. Ashish Jha has repeatedly sought to reassure the public that the U.S. is in a much stronger place today due to the widespread availability of Covid vaccines and treatments that prevent severe disease and death from the virus.

In August, HHS told local and state health officials to start preparing for an end to the emergency in the near future. HHS has committed to giving state governments and health care providers 60 days notice before lifting the declaration.

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President Joe Biden said the pandemic was over in September, a period when infections, hospitalizations and deaths were all declining. But HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters during a call in October what the virus does this winter would determine whether or not the emergency needs to continue.

Once U.S. officials decide to end the public health emergency, hospitals will lose flexibility in how they deploy staff, add beds and care for patients when there's a surge in admissions. Lifting the emergency could also affect the vastly expanded role pharmacies have played in administering vaccines during the pandemic, though it's not yet clear the extent of that impact.

Millions of Americans are expected to lose health insurance coverage under Medicaid in the coming months as well. Congress banned states from kicking people off the program for the duration of the public health emergency. Enrollment in Medicaid has surged 30% to more than 83 million as a consequence.

Last month, Congress severed the Medicaid protections from the public health emergency and said states could start withdrawing people from Medicaid in April if they no longer meet the eligibility requirements.

Content created and supplied by: [email protected] (via Opera News )

Covid HHS Health and Human Services Department U.S. White House


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