Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Public Health Emergency Declaration to End May 11, Explains Impact on Related Services and Programs
(HARTFORD, Conn.) – Governor Ned Lamont announced today that the public health emergency declaration he originally signed on March 10, 2020, in response to the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, will end on May 11, 2023 – the same date President Joe Biden ordered the related federal public health emergency declaration to expire.
Governor Lamont’s declaration allowed Connecticut’s executive branch to use certain emergency powers to address the crisis and provide more flexibility in a number of health-related areas, while ensuring that federal resources in response to the pandemic can be delivered to the state . With the expiration of this declaration, other policies enacted under it will also expire, and COVID-19 will be managed on an ongoing basis by government public health officials, like other respiratory diseases.
“Ending the declaration of a public health emergency COVID-19 does not mean the virus has been eradicated,” Governor Lamont said. “This declaration gave us the tools we needed to develop an immediate, emergency and primary response to the initial outbreak and put the necessary structure in place to ensure that people in our state have the protections they need to respond to it.” We’ve made great progress from where we were three years ago, and Connecticut’s public health community workers have excelled in building testing infrastructure, a vaccination program, a sophisticated disease reporting network, and the means to distribute therapeutics, PPE and more of 1.5 million self-test kits. I continue to urge Connecticut residents to take action to protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19 and all respiratory viruses – stay home when you are sick, get vaccinated and vaccinated to limit your risk of contracting viruses, and listen to the advice of medical experts on ways to stay healthy.”
“Although the public health emergency declaration is ending, residents should still get vaccinated, get the updated vaccine, use home tests, stay home when sick and, based on your own medical conditions, consider carrying of a high-quality mask when respiratory viruses are circulating at high levels in their community. These are all ways we can continue to protect ourselves and manage this virus.” Connecticut Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD, said. “We hope that COVID-19 will follow the trajectory of other seasonal illnesses, but we certainly expect to increase our efforts again during the respiratory season, which typically runs from October to April.”
Connecticut residents can expect the end of federal and state filings to impact the following services and programs:
Testing for COVID-19
- Connecticut’s remaining state-supported COVID-19 testing centers, which operate at four community health centers, will close on June 30, 2023.
- Costs for PCR tests for COVID-19 will begin to flow into traditional health coverage, similar to how they are handled for other respiratory illnesses, and will be covered in whole or in part by an individual’s private insurance plan; publicly funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid; or directly from users.
- The cost of home self-testing kits for COVID-19 will also shift to traditional health coverage, where they are covered in whole or in part by a private or public insurance plan or directly by consumers. For a limited time, the federal government continues to offer U.S. households the opportunity to request a shipment of free self-test kits—which can be obtained by filling out a form at covid.gov/tests – however, this program is subject to availability and will likely end soon.
Vaccinations against COVID-19
- The cost of getting COVID-19 vaccines and boosters will begin to roll over to traditional health coverage, similar to how they are handled for other types of illnesses, and will be covered in whole or in part by an individual’s private or public insurance plan or directly from users. However, it is expected that most private and public insurance plans will continue to cover all costs of vaccinations and revaccinations against COVID-19 without copayments or cost-sharing for consumers.
- The federal government plans to distribute all remaining COVID-19 vaccines and boosters it currently has in its inventory to vaccine providers (such as retail pharmacies and health care providers), which are then provided to individuals free of charge until this inventory does not run out or expire.
- The Connecticut Department of Public Health will end its mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic program on June 30, 2023. Any organization interested in hosting a clinic before the program ends must submit a request to the department by June 19, 2023 year of ct.gov/coronavirus.
- The Connecticut Department of Public Health will end its home-based COVID-19 vaccination program on June 30, 2023. After that date, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters will be provided to individuals who are at home, similar to how the vaccine against seasonal flu and other preventives health services are offered. People who are forced to go home should contact their health care provider to receive these services.
Therapeutics for COVID-19
- The cost of obtaining a treatment for COVID-19 such as Paxlovid and Lagevrio will begin to flow into traditional health coverage, similar to the costs a person might incur for other drugs and treatments, and will be covered in whole or in part by a private or public insurance plan of a person, or directly from users.
Support for long-term care facilities in response to COVID-19
- The Connecticut Department of Public Health will continue to support long-term care facilities to help identify any outbreaks of COVID-19. The department is committed to providing education and training on outbreak control to protect the state’s most vulnerable individuals.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program Waiver
- The WIC program waiver will end 90 days after claims cease, which is August 9, 2023. The Connecticut Department of Public Health will announce more information on this topic soon.
Reports with data on COVID-19
- The Connecticut Department of Public Health will shift its reporting of data on COVID-19 testing, hospitalizations, deaths and vaccination rates to the same reporting period it uses in its seasonal respiratory surveillance reporting program, which typically begins each year in early October and ends in late May or early June.
- This means that the department will issue its final report with COVID-19 data for the 2022-2023 respiratory viral disease season on June 1, 2023. The 2023-2024 reporting period will begin on October 5, 2023, and will end in late May or early May June 2024.
- This new COVID-19 data report will include data related to current COVID-19 disease activity and trends, and will integrate COVID-19 with viral respiratory surveillance reports, including influenza.
Current communication related to COVID-19 will continue to be posted on the Connecticut Department of Public Health website at ct.gov/dph. Additionally, the most current federal guidance regarding COVID-19 is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
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