The United States is extending the coronavirus pandemic public health emergency through April, President Joe Biden’s administration confirmed to CNBC on Friday.
The latest extension would be the 12th renewal since government officials first declared a public health emergency in January 2020, with renewals occurring every 90 days.
The decision to extend the emergency comes as public health officials reportedly expect a winter surge of coronavirus cases as individuals gather indoors more often. Officials are also concerned about the spread of omicron subvariants, CNBC reported.
According to Beckers Hospital Review:
The extension also comes amid uncertainty around public health as winter looms. New Omicron strains — dubbed “escape variants” for their immune evasiveness — have become the dominant strains in the U.S., accounting for 40 percent of all cases in the week ending Nov. 12.
Daily cases in the country are expected to grow 39 percent from Nov. 3-17. Hospital admissions trends are expected to remain stable or be more uncertain, with 1,300 to 7,300 new admissions likely reported on Nov. 25, according to the CDC. As of Nov. 4, the nation’s seven-day average of new hospital admissions was 3,273.
United States Health and Human Services (HHS) Department Secretary Xavier Becerra previously pledged to provide healthcare providers with a 60-day notice before lifting the emergency declaration.
Previously, the public health emergency was set to expire on January 11, leaving the 60-day notice deadline on November 11. However, HHS officials did not provide such notice on Friday.
As CBNC reported:
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HHS did not send that notice out on Friday, the deadline, which means the emergency has been extended through the spring, the administration official said. How the U.S. fares against Covid this fall and winter will help determine whether the emergency needs to be renewed again moving forward, Becerra told reporters in October.
Under the emergency declaration, public access to health insurance through Medicaid was expanded. An estimated 15 million people could lose access to Medicare or other federal programs when the emergency declaration is lifted.
Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.