Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the COVID-19 state of emergency will end early next year, according to a statement released from his office.
The state of emergency was declared during the pandemic in order to help government agencies and health care providers receive the expanded number of resources they needed in their vaccination and testing efforts.
The timeline to end the emergency response in February is due to wanting to give the health care system needed flexibility in anticipation of a possible winter surge of the virus in January and February, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
The February date will also give state and local partners the time to shore up their vaccines and boosters, testing, treatments and other mitigation measures like masking and indoor ventilation, according to officials.
“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.”
Newsom plans, according to the Monday statement, to call on the state Legislature in order to ensure two priorities: The continued ability of nurses to dispense COVID-19 therapeutics and the continued ability of laboratory workers to solely process COVID-19 tests.
“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,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency.