COVID-19 public health emergency renewed

The United States extended the COVID-19 public health emergency April 13, Reuters reports. 

HHS said it was renewing the public health emergency for another 90 days and that it will give states 60 days' notice prior to the termination or expiration of the declaration, according to a statement cited by Reuters

The PHE declaration was set to expire April 16, but its renewal was widely expected since the Biden administration had not warned states it would lapse. The renewal extends the PHE's deadline to July 15.

The extension occurs amid political pressure to wind down the pandemic-born flexibilities for people, providers and federal health programs. Congressional Republicans have been urging President Joe Biden and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to end the declaration for months, penning a letter to them in February to end the declaration of COVID-19 as a public health emergency. 

Healthcare providers take the opposite view, urging for renewal of the declaration amid ongoing concerns about workforce shortages, supply chain disruptions, higher acuity health needs that were postponed throughout the pandemic, effects of long COVID-19, vulnerable populations who cannot be vaccinated and the potential for additional COVID-19 surges.

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