Speed Reads

The end is near

California's COVID-19 emergency will end next year

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) plans to end the COVID-19 state of emergency he declared in 2020 early next year, The Los Angeles Times reports. 

In a news release, his office said a dramatic decrease in the number of deaths and hospitalizations "due to the state's vaccination and public health efforts" influenced his decision to end the state of emergency on Feb. 28, nearly three years after his initial declaration. His office said that this timeline would allow the healthcare system to handle any potential surges that could come after the winter holiday season.

"The State of Emergency was an effective and necessary tool that we utilized to protect our state, and we wouldn't have gotten to this point without it," Newsom said in the release. "With the operational preparedness that we've built up and the measures that we'll continue to employ moving forward, California is ready to phase out this tool."

Republican critics have bashed Newsom's decision to keep the order in place for so long, arguing he's abusing his executive powers, the Times reports.

Newsom initially made the declaration in Mar. 2020, during the early days of the pandemic, in response to the public health crisis. It was one of 70 executive orders he passed in response to the pandemic, though many of them have been reversed over time, per the Times.

Throughout the pandemic, California administered at least 81 million vaccinations and budgeted billions of dollars to support healthcare facilities, front-line workers, schools, and more, The Hill reports.