Today’s Infectious Disease News (10/17/22)

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Biden Administration Continues COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration Through January 11

The Biden administration has renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency through January 11. The public health emergency has been extended every 90 days ever since it was first declared in January 2020. The public health emergency status has played a critical role in not only fighting the virus, but allowing healthcare system to function throughout the pandemic. It has empowered the government to facilitate the offering of vaccines, testing and treatments for no charge. The emergency status also expanded Medicaid coverage to millions of Americans, a large share of whom will no longer have access to these benefits after the emergency is declared over. Special rule changes also granted users of Medicare unprecedented access to telemedicine.

Health officials strongly advise everyone age 5 and older to receive an updated COVID-19 booster as well as a flu vaccine as soon as possible. Flu activity has already begun to increase and COVID-19 cases are expected to surge this winter.

Full Story: Associated Press