California will end its Covid pandemic state of emergency on Feb. 28, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday.
That means California will join the majority of the country in lifting its orders, with less than a dozen states still operating under public health emergencies. The federal government announced on Thursday the national public health emergency will continue at least through Jan. 11, 2023.
California has been in a state of emergency due to the pandemic since March 2020. The declaration provided emergency powers to Gov. Gavin Newsom, allowing him to impose lockdown orders and closures of schools and businesses.
The mayor’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on whether San Francisco will follow the state in ending its emergency order. Should the Covid emergency end in San Francisco, the city would remain under two others: the monkeypox emergency order and the state of emergency in the Tenderloin, which was declared late last year.
Since peaking in the summer, local Covid cases have waned. Nonetheless, experts worry that a new stable of variants could lead to an increase in cases in the coming months.
In order to maintain the state's capacity to battle the virus, Newsom said in a statement that he will seek to pass new laws to allow nurses to continue to dispense Covid therapeutics and lab workers to process Covid tests.
“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,” said Newsom in the statement.
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