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still in a pandemic

U.S. extending COVID public health emergency through spring 2023, per official

The Biden administration will extend the COVID-19 public health emergency through the spring of 2023, an administration official said Friday.

The Department of Health and Human Services previously extended the emergency until January, CNBC reports. But officials are expecting another COVID surge this winter, hence another extension. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra had also promised to "give health-care providers 60 days notice before lifting the emergency declaration so they can prepare for a return to normal operations," CNBC summarizes. Because that notice was not sent out on Friday, the de facto deadline, the emergency has now been extended through the spring, CNBC summarizes.

The public health emergency declaration has expanded public health insurance during the pandemic, and allowed "hospitals and other health-care providers more flexibility in how they operate." Its continued application will also allow millions of Americans to receive "free tests, vaccines, and treatments until at least April of next year," Reuters writes, per two administration officials.

The public health emergency was first declared in January 2020.