CSAC Bulletin Article

Governor Newsom to End COVID-19 State of Emergency on February 28, 2023

October 20, 2022

Earlier this week, Governor Newsom announced the COVID-19 state of emergency will end on February 28, 2023, marking nearly three years since the state of emergency was initially proclaimed on March 4, 2020. According to the announcement, this timeline is intended to provide the health care system needed flexibility to handle any potential surge that may occur after the holidays in January and February, in addition to providing state and local partners time to prepare for this phaseout.

The state of emergency has provided for workforce and operational flexibilities, various statutory and regulatory waivers, and liability immunities. According to state officials, more than 550 provisions from the executive orders issued under the state of emergency are no longer in effect, with the remaining 27 provisions currently in effect to end on February 28.

To maintain California’s COVID-19 laboratory testing and therapeutics treatment capacity, the Newsom Administration will be seeking two statutory changes immediately upon the Legislature’s return: 1) The continued ability of nurses to dispense COVID-19 therapeutics; and 2) The continued ability of laboratory workers to solely process COVID-19 tests.

With this announcement, California will no longer be aligned with the federal public health emergency timeline, which was recently extended by U.S. HHS Secretary Becerra – as reported in a prior CSAC article – for an additional 90 days, placing the federal expiration around January 11, 2023, although the Secretary may terminate the declaration whenever he determines that the emergency has ceased to exist. Secretary Becerra has previously promised to provide 60 days’ notice before ending the emergency.

As of Thursday, October 13, California’s daily case rate was 7.5 per 100,000 residents, with test positivity at 4.7 percent.  (Source: Tracking COVID-19 in California – Coronavirus COVID-19 Response)

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