COVID-19 public health emergency set to be extended

HHS is set to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency past mid-July, Bloomberg reported May 16.

HHS has extended the emergency declaration since January 2020.

On April 16, HHS said it was renewing it to July 15 and pledged to provide states with 60 days' notice if it decided to terminate the declaration or allow it to expire. 

Multiple sources told The Washington Post they had not received such information as of late afternoon May 16, meaning it appears the declaration will extend to October.

An HHS spokesperson told the Post and Bloomberg that "the public health emergency for COVID-19 remains in effect" and reiterated its pledge to provide a 60 days' notice before any possible termination of the declaration.

The news comes after the American Hospital Association and 15 other national healthcare organizations called on HHS to maintain the PHE. In a May 10 letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the organizations cited the continued risk from COVID-19 variants as well as case rates in the U.S. The organizations requested that HHS maintain the public health emergency "until it is clear that the global pandemic has receded, and the capabilities authorized by the PHE are no longer necessary."

At the same time, congressional Republicans have urged President Joe Biden and Mr. Becerra to end the PHE.

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