U.S. Renews Public Health Emergency Again
Courtesy of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice
On October 15, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra renewed the Public Health Emergency (PHE) that has been in effect since January 27, 2020, due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
"As a result of the continued consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, on this date and after consultation with public health officials as necessary, I, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, pursuant to the authority vested in me under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, do hereby renew, effective October 18, 2021, the January 31, 2020, determination by former Secretary Alex M. Azar II, that he previously renewed on April 21, 2020, July 23, 2020, October 2, 2020, and January 7, 2021, and that I renewed on April 15, 2021 and July 19, 2021, that a public health emergency exists and has existed since January 27, 2020, nationwide."
This latest renewal of the PHE will last for 90 days, at which point it will lapse or be renewed again.
This news is not a surprise, as the Biden administration had hinted for some time that a renewal was coming.
A declaration of a PHE permits, among other things, emergency use authorization of vaccines, the access to funding to address the emergency, and deployment of military trauma care providers.
The most recent renewal of the PHE occurred on July 19, 2021.
The COVID-19 outbreak is not the only PHE that currently exists in the United States. On October 6, Secretary Becerra renewed a PHE for the opioid crisis that has been in effect for years.