Stakeholders Request Renewal of the Nation’s Public Health Emergency Declaration
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a public health emergency declaration (PHE) on January 31, 2020, due to the emerging threat posed by the novel coronavirus. The declaration provides public health officials with flexibility to assist states in responding to the global pandemic. The original PHE is set to expire on July 25. However, the number of COVID-19 cases across the US continues to increase, with more than 120,000 new cases diagnosed over the 4th of July weekend. In response, a group of organizations—including the American Society for Microbiology, American Clinical Laboratory Association, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Big Cities Health Coalition, College of American Pathologists, Council on State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Infectious Diseases Society of America, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and Trust for America’s Health—has asked HHS Secretary Alex Azar to renew the PHE for another 90 days. The group asserts that the PHE extension will allow the federal government to continue providing the resources needed to protect public health and support advancements in vaccine and treatment development. Read more here.