Government extends COVID emergency: what that means for you

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha speaks at the daily press briefing at the White House on October 11, 2022 in Washington, DC. Jha spoke on the new COVID-19 Bivalent vaccine boosters and urged all Americans to take it. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha speaks at the daily press briefing at the White House on October 11, 2022 in Washington, DC. Jha spoke on the new COVID-19 Bivalent vaccine boosters and urged all Americans to take it. Photo credit (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
By , Audacy

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra announced Thursday the renewal of an emergency declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be in place for the following 90-day period.

This declaration was first issued in January 2020 and it has been renewed 10 times.

Although President Joe Biden said last month that the pandemic is over and the World Health Organization said “the end is in sight,” there are still close to 39,000 new cases of COVID-19 and more than 300 deaths in the U.S. daily as of this week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are unfortunately seeing indicators rising again in Europe, suggesting that another wave of infections has begun,” the WHO said Wednesday. “With the arrival of autumn and winter, the resurgence of influenza can also be expected.”

According to Dr. Ashish Jha, COVID-19 response coordinator for the White House, the upcoming holiday season brings with it a risk of increased infections.

“We have seen an increase in COVID infections, hospitalizations, and deaths each of the last two winters,” Jha said this week. He added that COVID-19 trends in Australia this winter indicate there could be another U.S. wave of this virus this holiday season.

While there is risk for infection and an uptick in cases, Jha said that the nation is in better shape to deal with the virus than it has for the past two holiday seasons due to updated vaccines.

“If you are up to date with your vaccines and if you get treated, if you have a breakthrough infection, your risk of dying from COVID is now close to zero,” he said. “I really think that is remarkable progress.”

Jha recommends that everyone get up to date on their COVID-19 vaccination before Halloween or at least before Thanksgiving to cut down their risk of serious infection during the holidays.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)