The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has repeatedly renewed the public health emergency since it was originally declared in January 2020. The most recent extension was set to expire July 15. However, it will now be extended again commencing on Friday, July 15.

The administration will give states 60 days’ notice before ending the emergency to allow sufficient time to prepare for changes to certain programs and regulatory authorities. HHS last extended the public health emergency in May of 2022. The designation of a public health emergency allows regulators to clear the way for vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for use against the coronavirus. Should the designation expire, people may no longer be able to access tools necessary to defend against Covid-19 infection and disease.

The designation has also allowed for flexibilities around virtual health services. Lawmakers have pledged to extend increased telehealth access until five months after the end of the public health emergency is declared. An abrupt end to the emergency declaration could affect companies that provide those services.

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