The US Will End Its COVID-19 Health Emergencies in May: These Free Benefits Will End Too (2023)

The declaration of a COVID-19 public health emergency three years ago changed the lives of millions of Americans by offering increased health care coverage, beefed-up food assistance and universal access to coronavirus vaccines and tests.

Much of that is now coming to an end, with President Joe Biden's administration saying it plans to end the emergency declarations on May 11.

Here's a look at what will stay and what will go once the emergency order is lifted:

COVID-19 Tests, Treatments and Vaccines

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The at-home nasal swabs, COVID-19 vaccines as well as their accompanying boosters, treatments and other products that scientists have developed over the last three years will still be authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration once the public health emergency is over.

But how much people pay for certain COVID-related products may change.

Insurers will no longer be required to cover the cost of free at-home COVID-19 tests.

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(Video) What Biden's plans to end the COVID-19 public health emergency will mean

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(Video) Biden announces end to COVID-19 health emergencies

The CDC said the new COVID-19 variant is responsible for 75% of new cases.

Free vaccines, however, won't come to an end with the public health emergency.

"There’s no one right now who cannot get a free vaccine or booster," said Cynthia Cox, vice president at Kaiser Family Foundation. "Right now all the vaccines that are being administered are still the ones purchased by the federal government."

But the Biden administration has said it is running out of money to buy up vaccines and Congress has not budged on the president's requests for more funding.

Many states expect they can make it through the spring and summer, but there are questions around what their vaccine supply will look like going into the fall — when respiratory illness typically start to spike, said Anne Zink, the president of the The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

“We’re all anxious to find out more about that,” Zink said.


Medicaid enrollment ballooned during the pandemic, in part because the federal government prohibited states from removing people from the program during the public health emergency once they had enrolled.

The program offers health care coverage to roughly 90 million children and adults — or 1 out of every 4 Americans.

(Video) Biden administration to end COVID-19 emergency declarations on May 11

Late last year, Congress told states they could start removing ineligible people in April. Millions of people are expected to lose their coverage, either because they now make too much money to qualify for Medicare or they've moved. Many are expected to be eligible for low-cost insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act's private marketplace or their employer.

Student Loans

Payments on federal student loans were halted in March 2020 under the Trump administration and have been on hold since. The Biden administration announced a plan to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loan debts for individuals with incomes of less than $125,000 or households with incomes under $250,000.

But that forgiveness plan — which more than 26 million people have applied for — is on pause, thrown into legal limbo while awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court.

The Justice Department initially argued that the Secretary of Education has “sweeping authority” to waive rules relating to student financial aid during a national emergency, per the 2003 HEROES Act that was adopted during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A Biden administration official told The Associated Press Tuesday that ending the health emergencies will not change the legal argument for student loan debt cancellation, saying the COVID-19 pandemic affected millions of student borrowers who might have fallen behind on their loans during the emergency.

The pause on student loan payments is expected to end 60 days after the Supreme Court ruling.

Immigration at the Border

Border officials will still be able to deny people the right to seek asylum, a rule that was introduced in March 2020 as COVID-19 began its spread.

Those restrictions remain in place at the U.S.-Mexico border, pending a Supreme Court review, regardless of the COVID-19 emergency's expiration. Republican lawmakers sued after the Biden administration moved to end the restrictions, known as Title 42, last year. The Supreme Court kept the restrictions in place in December until it can weigh the arguments.

The end of the emergency may bolster the legal argument that the Title 42 restrictions should no longer be in place. The emergency restrictions fell under health regulations and have been criticized as a way to keep migrants from coming to the border, rather than to stop the spread of the virus.


COVID-19's arrival rapidly accelerated the use of telehealth, with many providers and hospital systems shifting their delivery of care to a smartphone or computer format.

(Video) President Biden to end country's COVID-19 emergencies on May 11

The public health emergency declaration helped hasten that approach because it suspended some of the strict rules that had previously governed telehealth and allowed doctors to bill Medicare for care delivered virtually, encouraging hospital systems to invest more heavily in telehealth systems.

Congress has already agreed to extend many of those telehealth flexibilities for Medicare through the end of next year.

Food Assistance

Relaxed rules during the COVID-19 public health emergency made it easier for individuals and families to receive a boost in benefits under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Some state and congressional action has started to wind down some of that. Emergency allotments — typically about $82 a month, according to the Food Research and Action Center — will come to an end as soon as March in more than two dozen states.

Food help for unemployed adults, under the age of 50 and without children, will also change after the public health emergency is lifted in May. During the emergency declaration, a rule that required those individuals to work or participate in job training for 20 hours per week to remain eligible for SNAP benefits was suspended. That rule will be in place again starting in June. SNAP aid for more low-income college students will also draw down in June.

State COVID Emergencies

At least a half-dozen states — including California, Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Texas — have some form of COVID emergency declaration or disaster order still in place. But those orders have limited practical effect.

New Mexico’s public health emergency, which has been extended through Friday, advised health care facilities to abide by federal coronavirus requirements. Delaware has continued to operate under a “public health emergency,” which has suspended staffing ratios in long-term care facilities.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has said his emergency order will end Feb. 28. Newsom has issued 596 specific orders, from stay-at-home mandates to tax-filing extensions, during the pandemic. Most have expired, but he plans to ask lawmakers make two into permanent laws — one letting nurses order and dispense COVID-19 medication and another allowing lab workers to solely process coronavirus tests.

Money for Hospitals

Hospitals will take a big financial hit in May, when the emergency comes to an end. They'll no longer get an extra 20% for treating COVID-19 patients who are on Medicare.

The end to those payments comes at a time when many hospitals are under financial pressure, struggling with workforce shortages and dealing with the pain of inflation, said Stacey Hughes, the executive vice president at the American Hospitals Association.


How did our government plan to mitigate or prevent the transmission of the disease what can we do in order to prevent the further spread of the virus? ›

What can I do to protect myself and others from COVID-19?
  • Wear a face mask in public indoor spaces.
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Avoid large gatherings.
  • Socialize outdoors.
  • Get vaccinated and boosted as soon as you are eligible.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

How long does COVID last? ›

Most people with COVID-19 get better within a few days to a few weeks after infection, so at least four weeks after infection is the start of when post-COVID conditions could first be identified. Anyone who was infected can experience post-COVID conditions.

How to mitigate COVID-19 and future pandemics? ›

Various mitigation strategies have been taken to slow down the rapid spread of COVID-19, such as complete or partial lockdown, travel bans, mass gathering restrictions, home quarantines within communities, social distancing measures, personal protective actions, and other non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs).

How did the World Bank respond to COVID? ›

From April 2020 through June 2021, we committed $8.4 billion for 153 operations under the MPA and reprioritized $3.1 billion from the portfolio to support over 100 countries in their response to the pandemic.

Can I spread Covid if I test negative? ›

You can have COVID-19 and spread it to others even if you do not have symptoms. Your COVID-19 test can be negative even if you are infected. Most people do not test positive for the virus until days after exposure. You may also be exposed to the virus afteryou are tested and then get infected.

Can cats catch COVID? ›

The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals during close contact. Pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. The risk of pets spreading COVID-19 to people is low.

How long does a COVID vaccine last? ›

We don't know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people.

How long does COVID last in kids? ›

Symptoms can last anywhere from 1 to 21 or more days. Most children are better within a week. If your child gets COVID-19 they should stay quarantined at home for 10 days after positive testing or onset of symptoms, and must demonstrate improving symptoms without fever for 24 hours.

How do you clear sinuses from COVID? ›

How do I Treat Nasal Congestion with COVID-19?
  1. Get plenty of rest to help your body get the energy it needs to fight the infection.
  2. Drink lots of fluids to help keep your mucus thin so it can be cleared more easily from your lungs and sinuses.
  3. Take over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants. ...
  4. Take OTC antihistamines.
Nov 15, 2022

How do you prevent and control Covid? ›

While safe and effective vaccines are a great tool for prevention, it is important to continue other preventative actions such as wearing masks, performing hand hygiene, physically distancing from others, and avoiding crowded spaces and spaces with poor ventilation.

What are two preventive measures that can help in combating Covid 19 disaster? ›

Wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you arrive. Maintain a social distance of a metre at all times.
  • Keep a safe distance of a metre from others.
  • Carry a sanitiser / wash your hands frequently with water and soap.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.

Why were banks affected by Covid? ›

One of the main ideas of the study is that the banking sector will be under stress due to high levels of credit losses once large-scale insolvencies arise between corporates and households due to the global economic downturn caused by the covid-19 crisis.

How COVID has affected the world? ›

The starkest measure of the pandemic's effect is the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19. By the end of 2021, reported deaths due to the virus had exceeded 5 million people globally, including more than 827,000 in the United States (OWID 2021).

How much money has the world lost due to COVID-19? ›

The global economy is expected to lose nearly $8.5 trillion in output over the next two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wiping out nearly all gains of the previous four years.

What is the best medicine for Covid cough? ›

Use medications containing guaifenesin, such as Robitussin, Mucinex, and Vicks 44E. keeping you from getting rest. Coughing is useful because it brings up mucus from the lungs and helps prevent bacterial infections. People with asthma and other lung diseases need to cough.

Can I test negative after 3 days? ›

If you were exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may be more likely to get an inaccurate result. If you are in certain high-risk settings, you may need to test as part of a screening testing program.

What's the difference between Delta and Omicron? ›

HKUMed finds Omicron SARS-CoV-2 can infect faster and better than Delta in human bronchus but with less severe infection in lung. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How can I tell if my dog has Covid? ›

Symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pets

Most pets who have gotten sick only had mild illness and fully recovered. Some signs of illness in pets may include fever, coughing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, lethargy, sneezing, nose or eye discharge, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Can you get COVID more than once? ›

Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19.

What can dogs eat that humans eat? ›

  • PEANUT BUTTER. Peanut butter is a healthy and safe treat for dogs to eat in moderate amounts. ...
  • CARROTS. Both raw and cooked carrots are safe for your dog to eat. ...
  • CHEESE. ...
  • CHICKEN. ...
  • SALMON. ...
Oct 12, 2020

How long does the Pfizer vaccine last in your body? ›

mRNA, which is the technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, degrades in the body naturally after a few days, and the spike protein it creates only stays for a couple weeks [3].

How long do COVID antibodies stay in your system? ›

Antibodies may be remain in your blood for many months. These antibodies are thought to give some form of immunity to the COVID-19 virus. But there's currently not enough evidence to know how long the antibodies last.

How long does the COVID cough last? ›

In the case of COVID-19, this cough could last for as long as six months after the viral infection, especially if the patient contracted Omicron because it is more airway dependent than the original strain.

Can a 3 year old have COVID? ›

It can be hard to tell if your child has COVID-19 or another illness with similar symptoms, such as the flu or hay fever. If you think your child might have COVID-19 : Talk to your child's health care provider. Keep your child at home and away from others, except to get medical care.

Can babies drink water? ›

Once your baby has started to eat solid foods (from around 6 months) you can offer them sips of water from a cup or beaker with meals. Drinking water for babies over 6 months does not need to be boiled first. Fully breastfed babies do not need any water until they've started eating solid foods.

Does COVID affect babies? ›

Additionally, if you have COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are at increased risk of complications that can affect your pregnancy and developing baby. Most newborns of people who had COVID-19 during pregnancy do not have COVID-19 when they are born. Some newborns have tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after birth.

Is mucinex good for COVID? ›

Managing Cough and Shortness of Breath

Over-the-counter medications used for upper respiratory infections may help alleviate symptoms. Those medications include guaifenesin (Mucinex), pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), and dextromethorphan (Robitussin, Delsym).

What is the COVID cough like? ›

A dry cough is one of the most common coronavirus symptoms, but some people may have a cough with phlegm (thick mucus). It can be difficult to control your cough but there are a few ways to help.

Does flushing your nose help with COVID? ›

Flushing your sinus cavity twice daily with a mild saline solution can significantly reduce a COVID patient's risk of hospitalization and death, researchers report.

Should I go to work with COVID? ›

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, you are advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

What to avoid with COVID? ›

Avoid foods (e.g. snacks) that are high in salt and sugar. Limit your intake of soft drinks or sodas and other drinks that are high in sugar (e.g. fruit juices, fruit juice concentrates and syrups, flavoured milks and yogurt drinks). Choose fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes and chocolate.

Why is it difficult to eradicate COVID? ›

There are a number of factors that made smallpox eradicable and that make SARS-CoV-2 impossible to eradicate. First, smallpox only infected humans, whereas SARS-CoV-2 has many animal reservoirs. Even if we could stop transmission in humans, it could always spill over again.

How can we reduce COVID-19 cases in the community? ›

The main points in preventing the spread in society are hand hygiene, social distancing and quarantine. With increased testing capacity, detecting more COVID-19 positive patients in the community will also enable the reduction of secondary cases with stricter quarantine rules.

What is the biggest threat to the banking industry? ›

Social engineering. One of the biggest threats to banking and finance is social engineering. People are often the most vulnerable link in the security chain – they can be tricked into giving over sensitive details and credentials. This can equally affect a bank's employees or its customers.

What are the biggest issues facing banks today? ›

Top 10 Banking Industry Challenges — And How You Can Overcome Them
  • Increasing Competition.
  • A Cultural Shift.
  • Regulatory Compliance.
  • Changing Business Models.
  • Rising Expectations.
  • Customer Retention.
  • Outdated Mobile Experiences.
  • Security Breaches.

What's the biggest challenge in banking at the moment? ›

5 Banking Challenges and Strategies for Growth in 2022
  1. Cybersecurity Threats Targeting Employees and Customers. ...
  2. Recruiting and Retaining Bank Employees. ...
  3. Regulatory Compliance for Financial Institutions in 2022. ...
  4. Meeting Customer Expectations. ...
  5. The Rise of APIs and Open Banking.
Feb 24, 2022

Will Covid permanently change the world? ›

COVID-19 will leave a lasting imprint on the world economy, causing permanent changes and teaching important lessons. Virus screening is likely to become part of our life, just like security measures became ubiquitous after 9/11.

Who is most vulnerable to COVID? ›

Older adults are at highest risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. More than 81% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over age 65. The number of deaths among people over age 65 is 97 times higher than the number of deaths among people ages 18-29 years.

What has COVID taught us? ›

The pandemic not only brought to light the large gaps we have within the health care system and disaster preparedness in our nation, it also put a magnifying glass on the health inequities that underserved communities have been facing for decades.

Is everyone struggling financially? ›

Across the board, American workers are struggling financially. Even high earners are struggling more than last year, Salary Finance said. Of those making more than six figures, roughly half are having a harder time staying afloat and have less in savings than they did in 2021.

How much damage did Covid do to the economy? ›

The pandemic was accompanied by historic drops in output in almost all major economies. U.S. GDP fell by 8.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 (figure 3-3), the largest single-quarter contraction in more than 70 years (BEA 2021c). Most other major economies fared even worse.

How did COVID affect mental health? ›

Information overload, rumors and misinformation can make your life feel out of control and make it unclear what to do. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may experience stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness. And mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, can worsen.

What can government do to prevent disease? ›

The U.S. government's role is to make laws that protect the public's overall health, publicize threats to health as well protective measures, enforce laws and standards related to health and safety, fund research initiatives, levy punishment on people or entities that risk the public's health, and provide an avenue for ...

What measures have been taken by the government to stop the spread of Covid-19? ›

Measures included closing schools and higher education institutions and starting distance learning, suspending prayers in all places of worship, closing shopping centres and entertainment destinations, suspending the issuance of new UAE visas, suspending flights and enabling working from home.

How do you mitigate the spread of Covid? ›

Applying preventive measures that include physical distancing, mask wearing, hand hygiene, and cleaning of high-touch surfaces in densely populated areas and markets can mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

What actions are taken by the US government when an infectious disease outbreak occurs? ›

CDC has the authority to detain, isolate, or conditionally release any person believed to be infected or exposed to a communicable disease.

What will be the leading cause of death in 2030? ›

Future Health of our Nation (Text)

Greater numbers of older people will require care for chronic diseases and age-related health problems. Deaths from Alzheimer's, hepatitis C and certain cancers are rising. By 2030: Cancer may overtake heart disease as the #1 cause of death, killing 640,000 people each year.

How can the government improve health? ›

Interventions to increase access to health care services — like lowering costs, improving insurance coverage, and increasing use of telehealth — can help more people get the care they need.

What are 3 ways diseases are prevented today? ›

Learn, practice, and teach healthy habits.
  • #1 Handle & Prepare Food Safely. Food can carry germs. ...
  • #2 Wash Hands Often. ...
  • #3 Clean & Disinfect Commonly Used Surfaces. ...
  • #4 Cough and Sneeze into a Tissue or Your Sleeve. ...
  • #5 Don't Share Personal Items. ...
  • #6 Get Vaccinated. ...
  • #7 Avoid Touching Wild Animals. ...
  • #8 Stay Home When Sick.

How to recover the economy after COVID-19? ›

Creating economic recovery and growth after COVID-19
  1. Increasing investment.
  2. Increasing revenue.
  3. Reducing cost.
  4. Encouraging innovation.
  5. Supporting workforce readiness.

Can I get Covid twice? ›

Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19.

Which countries have the best responses to COVID? ›

The countries with the most approving populations were Singapore (88%), Sweden (82%), Malaysia (77%) and Australia (76%). Older adults were also more likely than younger people to say their government has handled the pandemic well.

What is the most effective way to prevent infection? ›

Take action and practice hand hygiene often. Use soap and water or an alcoholbased hand rub to clean your hands. It only takes 15 seconds to practice hand hygiene. to practice hand hygiene.

Which COVID vaccine is safest? ›

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are strongly recommended as safe and effective at preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19. From December 2020 to December 2021, about 470 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the U.S.

Can I still work with Covid? ›

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, you are advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

How is the US currently working with other countries to address global health issues? ›

Through the GHSA, U.S. government agencies work with host governments and partners to help countries make measurable improvements in capabilities to detect and respond to emerging disease events and achieve global health security targets.

What measures are taken in the United States to prevent outbreaks from occurring? ›

The United States has a comprehensive quarantine system at ports and border crossings to limit infectious diseases entering the country. There are twenty of these quarantine stations across the United States, and they are staffed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What are the 3 most important actions to prevent infection? ›

There are many things you can do to help protect yourself and others: Wash your hands with soap and water throughout the day. Get recommended vaccinations to prevent infectious diseases such as measles and chickenpox. Practice safer sex to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)


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