"Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been guided by the science and data – moving quickly and strategically to save lives. 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. "With the operational preparedness that we’ve built up and the measures that we’ll continue to employ moving forward, California is ready to phase out this tool."
Newsom said this timeline will give hospitals "flexibility to handle any potential surge that may occur after the holidays in January and February." It will also provide state and local partners time to prepare for the phaseout.
Hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have decreased dramatically. Additionally, Newsom noted the availability of vaccines and boosters, testing, treatments, and other measures the state has to continue fighting COVID-19.
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So far, the state has administered of 81 million vaccinations, distribution of a billion units of PPE throughout the state and processing of 186 million tests.
"California’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has prepared us for whatever comes next. As we move into this next phase, the infrastructure and processes we’ve invested in and built up will provide us the tools to manage any ups and downs in the future," said Secretary of the California Health & Human Services Agency, Dr. Mark Ghaly. "While the threat of this virus is still real, our preparedness and collective work have helped turn this once crisis emergency into a manageable situation."
Newsom said he will move forward with seeking two statutory changes - the continued ability of nurses to dispense COVID-19 therapeutics and the continued ability of laboratory workers to solely process COVID-19 tests.