California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the COVID-19 State of Emergency will end on February 28, 2023.
The governor’s office said it will wait until February of 2023 to account for possible surges in COVID-19 cases that have historically occurred during the winter months.
“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,” Newsom said in a statement. “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.”
While the State of Emergency is set to expire, the “California SMARTER Plan,” will continue.
The SMARTER Plan was first unveiled in February 2022 and was used as a tool to move away from previously stricter COVID-19 mandates.
The state believes it is equipped with enough vaccines, boosters, testing and treatments, adding that “individual smarter actions” will dictate how the future progresses with COVID-19.
“California’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has prepared us for whatever comes next,” California Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly said 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.”
The initial State of Emergency was declared on March 4, 2020 in order to “make additional resources available,” at a time when the coronavirus was starting to spread more widely in the state and hospitals lacked resources such as masks, COVID-19 testing, personnel and patient beds.
The declaration set regulations against consumer price gouging and allowed out-of-state healthcare employees to work in California on an emergency basis.
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