Covid-19 Update- April 2023

By: Brenda Teed, LSW, COVID-19 Social Support Coordinator & Preventionist 

Based on current COVID-19 trends, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 to expire on May 11, 2023.

Efforts to mitigate the worst impacts of COVID-19 since the Omicron surge at the end of January 2022 has resulted in:

  • Daily COVID-19 reported cases are down 92%
  • COVID-19 deaths have declined by over 80%, and
  • New COVID-19 hospitalizations are down nearly 80%

What will not be affected as a result of these changes:

  • Access to vaccinations and treatments like Paxlovid and Lagevrio
  • Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 products (tests, vaccines, & treatments)
  • Major Medicare and Medicaid telehealth flexibilities
  • The process for states to begin eligibility redeterminations for Medicaid will not be affected
  • Access to buprenorphine for opioid use disorder in Opioid Treatment programs (Early in the pandemic, SAMSHA issued guidance allowing patients access to buprenorphine by telehealth)
  • Access to expanded methadone take-home doses for opioid use disorder

What WILL be affected as a result of these changes:

  • Certain Medicare & Medicaid waivers and flexibilities will end
  • Coverage for COVID-19 testing will change
  • Reporting of COVID-19 lab results and immunization data to the CDC
  • FDA COVID-19 related guidance documents that affect clinical practice and supply chains will end
  • FDA’s ability to detect early shortages of critical devices related to COVID-19 will be limited
  • Public Readiness & Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act liabilities protections
  • The ability of health care providers to dispense controlled substance via telehealth

For more information regarding the ending of the COVID-19 public health emergency phase, visit the Department of Health and Humans Services webpage: