Following three years of restrictions
California’s coronavirus emergency declaration officially came to an end this week, but the change is not expected to have too much of an impact on people.
This comes nearly three years after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared COVID-19 a public health emergency. Since then, Newsom has lifted most restrictions, such as mask requirements, beach closures and business shutdowns prompted by the pandemic.
Given that, the emergency declaration’s end is more of a symbolic marker for the state.
Locally, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider a motion that would end the county’s emergency declarations enacted by COVID-19. However, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says it doesn’t mean all infection control measures will immediately disappear.
County Supervisor Janice Hahn put forth a motion this week that would end the proclamation of a local emergency and the proclamation of a local health emergency on March 31.
Hahn notes in her motion that the emergency declarations “saved lives and protected the health of county residents.” She said vaccinations therapeutics were vital in slowing the spread of the illness.
“Over the last three years, the county has developed the tools to continue to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 without exclusively relying on the use of the extraordinary powers afforded by the various emergency proclamations and declarations,” Hahn’s motion stated.
“The county’s sustained preparedness, infrastructure and available tools in combating COVID-19 demonstrate that it is time to evaluate the county’s readiness to terminate both the county’s proclamation of local emergency and declaration of local health emergency for COVID-19,” it said.
Ferrer said her agency will be reviewing existing health officer orders, noting that some of the requirements in them were enacted under the county’s emergency declaration and would be lifted if the board removes the declaration at the end of March.
“So by the end of March, some of the health officer orders that were written here in L.A. County by Dr. (Muntu) Davis (the county health officer), would in fact need to be changed if they are going to continue, because some of them were done under an emergency declaration,” Ferrer said.
Meanwhile, the federal COVID state of emergency is set to end in May.