Oct. 15, 2022 -- With health officials saying a winter spike in COVID-19 cases is possible, the Biden administration this week extended the COVID-19 public health emergency to Jan. 11, 2023.
The COVID public health emergency was first declared in January 2020 by the Trump administration and has been renewed every 90 days since.
The declaration allowed changes throughout the healthcare system, including the free distribution of COVID vaccines and treatments. Medicaid coverage was expanded to millions of Americans, more telehealth services were authorized, and hospitals gained flexibility in how to respond to patient surges. 
COVID is easing statistically, with case counts, deaths, and hospitalizations dropping. About a month ago, President Biden went on “60 Minutes” and said, “the pandemic is over.”
Health officials note that COVID spiked during the winter months during the last two years and say that could happen again.
“We were going in the right direction in the summer of 2021, and along came Delta,” Anthony Fauci, MD, White House medical advisor, said during a virtual conversation for the University of Southern California’s Annenberg’s Center for Health Journalism. “Then in the winter, along came Omicron. And since then, we’ve had sublineages of Omicron.” 
The administration has urged Americans to get COVID boosters ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays when families gather together.
Republicans have urged Biden to end the public health emergency and Congress has not supported Biden’s efforts to secure more spending for COVID. The distribution of free at-home tests halted last month because of a lack of funding.
The administration says it will give 60-days’ notice before ending the public health emergency.
The United States has recorded almost 97 million confirmed COVID cases and more than 1 million COVID-related deaths – more than any other nation.
 

Show Sources

Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response. “Renewal of Determination That A Public Health Emergency Exists”

The Associated Press. “Biden administration extends COVID public health emergency”

USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. "From COVID to Monkeypox: A Conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci"

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