5 states treating COVID-19 as endemic

A number of states have announced they are no longer operating in crisis mode to manage COVID-19 as cases nationwide continue to fall. 

Here are five states that have shifted response measures to treat COVID-19 as endemic: 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. 

1. California on Feb. 18 became the first state to unveil a response plan that treats the virus as a manageable risk. The plan is called SMARTER, which stands for shots, masks, awareness, readiness, testing, education and Rx treatments. 

2. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said the state's COVID-19 response will shift to a plan called "Steady State" by March 31. As part of the transition, the state will rely less on its public health systems and more on healthcare systems for things like testing and providing treatments. This will "allow our public health system to refocus on things a public health system would normally look after, like disease surveillance, data collection and reporting, vaccinations and public awareness," according to a news release. 

3. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced the state will be shifting to an endemic phase April 1. As part of this shift, "surveillance priority will change from monitoring case numbers to monitoring disease severity and societal impact as new waves of infection come and go," a statement from the governor's office said. 

4. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order to lift the state's COVID-19 public health emergency and a statewide mask mandate in schools and daycares, which went into effect March 7. The governor's office has also halted COVID-19 briefings, with the last one held March 4. Meanwhile, the state of emergency will remain in effect to ensure the state continues to receive federal resources to manage COVID-19 at an endemic level. 

5. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state has terminated its COVID-19 emergency declaration March 30. The declaration, issued March 11, 2020, directed the Arizona Department of Health Services to coordinate all matters related to the COVID-19 crisis and the state's response. The health department set the conditions for when the emergency period could be lifted.

 

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