The COVID Public Health Emergency is Ending: What Does This Mean?
posted on Friday, May 05, 2023.
March 13, 2020, the United States declared a national public health emergency
to help address the growing global threat of COVID. After more than three
years, the public health emergency ends on May 11, 2023. While this does not
mean COVID-19 is gone or no longer a threat, it does mean some major changes
COVID vaccines are
Public Health Department will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccines and boosters
at its City Hall Clinic (730 Washington Avenue, Room 4 / Lower Level).
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 262-636-9431 and these vaccines will
continue to be free through the Public Health Department regardless of
insurance status. You can also contact your healthcare provider or local
pharmacy to find out what vaccination options they have available for you.
Various options for
COVID tests remain
can still buy tests in stores, pharmacies, and online, and if you have health
insurance, your insurer may reimburse the cost of the test or cover it
up-front. If you are sick and have private insurance or Medicare, your
insurance should cover a test with a doctor’s referral.
are also still ways to receive a free at-home test:
- Say Yes! COVID Home Test. You can order 10
free COVID tests a month from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
through this program. Visit SayYesCOVIDHomeTest.org to order.
- US Postal Service. You can order four (4) free
COVID tests from the federal government, which are delivered via the US Postal
Service. Visit special.usps.com/testkits to order.
Guidance for those
with COVID is not changing
Isolation guidance for those who test
positive for COVID-19 will not be changing with the end of the public health
emergency. While Public Health is no longer contacting each individual with a
positive test reported to us, the above guidance should still be followed.
forms of COVID-19 investigation, as well as investigation into other communicable
diseases, will continue, including case investigation and contact tracing
related to outbreaks in schools, daycares, and other congregate settings. This
means it is still possible you will hear from the Public Health Department in
you need help or additional information, call our main phone line at
262-636-9201. You can always find the latest guidance on isolation at racinecoronavirus.org.
COVID-19 Treatment Telehealth service will continue through December 31, 2023.
This program, run through the WI Department of Health Services, provides free
at-home COVID treatment, which can prevent you from becoming seriously ill.
You can call or go online to access the Telehealth Portal and find out if you
are eligible. You will complete some forms and then be matched with a licensed
clinician to see if any of the antiviral treatments are a good fit. Once
prescribed, they can either be picked up at a pharmacy or delivered to your home.
infections is still important
ending of these COVID public health emergency declarations does not mean COVID
is gone. Public health experts continue to recommend that everyone get
vaccinated, get the latest booster when available, use an at-home test if
you’re exposed or have symptoms, stay home if you are sick, and wear a mask
when COVID levels are high in the community.
Masks continue to be available for pick up at Racine Fire Department stations throughout the community.
Pandemic changes to other programs are also affected
The ending of the Emergency Declaration may also affect some community resources and programs put in place during
the pandemic. Learn more about the following programs: