In October, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California’s COVID-19 State of Emergency would end on Feb. 28. 2023. The announcement came more than two years after the order was issued.

Plans to end the order after the fall and winter seasons, when coronavirus cases typically increase due to more indoor gatherings, will allow county health care systems “the time needed to prepare for this phaseout and set themselves up for success afterward,” a news release stated.

When the state of emergency ends, Newsom will relinquish the additional authority he had under the order, which included the ability to bypass the state legislature to implement policies.

County health officers, who were able to impose health ordinances without needing to receive approval of elected officials like mayors and supervisors, won’t have the power to do so anymore, SFGate reported. Some of these policies include county mask mandates and vaccination-proof requirements.

Without the statewide emergency order, county health officers will only be able to enforce any present or future COVID-19 policies under county-level emergency declarations. Still, local elected officials can lift emergency declarations anytime, SFGate reported.

The end of the state of emergency also means that executive orders and regulations enacted during the beginning of the pandemic will no longer be in effect, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Some of these provisions include:

  • Health officials won’t need to review a digital patient’s COVID-19 test results before sending it off to them
  • Emergency medical service personnel were allowed to administer vaccines, allowing nurses to focus on other duties, but that will no longer be the case
  • Local governments won’t have to renew their health emergency directives

As the state’s COVID-19 emergency order is going away, the Newsom administration announced that California would follow the “SMARTER” plan to help combat the virus. Each letter of the proposition addresses a vital component of the fight against COVID-19, he said.

S = Shots

M = Masks

A = Awareness

R = Readiness

T = Testing

E = Education

R = Rx treatment