Feds Renewing Public Health Emergency Declaration

October 2, 2020

The Trump administration is renewing the public health emergency declaration for the coronavirus, according to HHS Secretary Alex Azar who the renewal in a Friday afternoon tweet.

While the October 2 renewal of the federal Public Health Emergency states it is in effect for 90 days, some question whether the expiration would then be 90 days from October 2, or 90 days from October 23.  And of course, it is not crystal clear.  As such we will need to keep an eye on this and subsequent actions from HHS.  Here’s the text from the 10/2/2020 PHE extension:

“As a result of the continued consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, on this date and after consultation with public health officials as necessary, I, Alex M. Azar II, Secretary of Health and Human Services, pursuant to the authority vested in me under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, do hereby renew, effective October 23, 2020, my January 31, 2020, determination, that I previously renewed on April 21, 2020 and July 23, 2020, that a public health emergency exists and has existed since January 27, 2020, nationwide.” 

This should mean that many of the COVID-19 related easements states have implemented to relax certain regulations, can continue through January 2021.  Ultimately the decision as to whether the Governor continues various Executive Orders remains with him, but the renewal of the public health declaration is critical to this process.