The US Health and Human Services Department will renew the public health emergency declared almost a year ago at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday.
“I just renewed the Covid-19 national public health emergency declaration, effective January 21, 2020. Our work to combat the virus will continue, as will our work to ensure a peaceful and orderly transition,” Azar said via Twitter.
HHS said an emergency declaration gives state, tribal, and local health departments more flexibility to request that HHS authorize them to temporarily reassign state, local, and tribal personnel.
Azar first declared the emergency on January 31, 2020 and has renewed it regularly since.
State governors have also been declaring public health emergencies due to the pandemic.