On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced in a statement that the COVID-19 State of Emergency is set to end early next year on February 28.
The state of emergency that was enacted back in March 2020 made it possible for state and local governments to directly handle their pandemic response with provided resources. According to the statement, this date allows healthcare systems ample time to handle any possible rises that may occur after the holidays, come January and February 2023. This period also provides state and local partners time to prepare for the complete phaseout.
“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 Governor 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.”
This decision from the Newsom Administration comes in response to California’s low COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths in recent months, and the virus’ spread less through precautions like vaccination, testing, treatments, and masking. However, the statement also emphasized a legislature that would l ensure laboratory testing and treatments for COVID-19 cases.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
According to data from the CDC, California is one of the largest states with the lowest COVID-19 death rate.