Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state’s COVID State of Emergency order would expire on Feb. 28. 2023.

However, as case numbers across the state increase, especially as the winter season approaches, some have questioned whether the emergency order will be renewed.

The idea wouldn’t be so farfetched, as the order has been renewed before, most recently in November 2021, Cal Matters reported. Newsom decided to extend the order when the Delta variant led to an increase in COVID cases and to ensure that hospitals across the state were properly staffed and equipped with the resources employees needed, according to a news release.

As of Thursday, Dec. 8, the state is averaging 7,805 daily cases, with 13.6 new cases per 100,000 residents reported during the Oct.5 through Nov. 29 time period, according to California’s COVID tracker.  

Certain counties, like Los Angeles, have also seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases. On Dec. 9, county officials reported more than 3,756 new cases, with more than 1,000 people hospitalized for the virus.

Public Health officials at the L.A. County Department of Health said in an email statement that the state’s emergency order can be extended if the governor decides it’s warranted.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office said that there are currently no plans to reinstate the COVID state of emergency once it expires.

KTLA reached out to the California Department Public of Health for comment on whether the emergency order might be extended but did not hear back.

The state is also battling an increase in flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases, especially in children. The Children’s Hospital in Orange County has dealt with a massive influx of patients, resulting in longer wait times.

Due to the rapid spread, Orange County, in Southern California, declared a health emergency in November.

Under the state of emergency, Gov. Gavin Newsom was given additional authority under state law, which included the ability to bypass the state Legislature to implement policies.

The Sacramento Bee reported that such provisions included:

  • Health officials won’t need to review a digital patient’s test results before sending it off to them
  • Emergency medical service personnel were allowed to do administer vaccines, allow with other duties, to nurses
  • Local governments won’t have to renew their health emergency directives

California residents were expected to follow the pandemic-era regulations, such as mask mandates and vaccination–proof requirements.

County health officers were also allowed to implement health ordinances without needing approval from elected officials like mayors and supervisors, SFGate reported.

While plans to reinstate the state’s COVID emergency order haven’t been announced, California will still follow the “SMARTER” plan to help combat COVID.

Each letter of the proposition addresses a vital component of the fight against the disease.

  • S = Shots
  • M = Masks
  • A = Awareness
  • R = Readiness
  • T = Testing
  • E = Education
  • R = Rx treatment