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End of the Public Health Emergency Declaration What it means for Georgians

 

AtlantaThe federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration will expire at the end of the
day. Now that we have safe and effective vaccines, ample testing infrastructure, and most people
have some level of immunity due to vaccination or infection, COVID-19 is no longer a public health
emergency.
As a result of these and other efforts in Georgia, since the end of the peak of the Omicron surge at
the end of January 2022:
• Daily COVID-19 reported cases are down over 98%,
• COVID-19 deaths have declined 97%, and
• Newly reported COVID-19 hospitalizations are down 97%.
In Georgia, the end of the PHE will have minimal impact on the public. Most prevention tools, like
vaccines, treatments, and testing, will remain available. Other tools such as certain data sources
and reporting, will change.
COVID vaccines and tests will still be available at no cost to the public at health departments
throughout the state for the foreseeable future. For information about vaccine locations near you,
please visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine. Tests, both lab/PCR tests and over the counter
tests, are available at no cost at local health departments, 24-hour kiosks around the state, and at
regional drive through testing sites. Testing locations and hours and at home test kits can be found
at https://dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting.
Medication to prevent severe COVID-19, such as Paxlovid, will remain available at no cost while
supplies purchased by the federal government last. After that, the price will be determined by the
medication manufacturer and individual health insurance coverage. Check with your healthcare
provider if you need early treatment, within 48 hours of symptoms, to prevent severe COVID.
The end of the PHE declaration also means some of the data that was mandated will no longer be
reported to DPH or nationally. COVID-19 cases will remain reportable and cases that are reported
to DPH will still be published in the DPH Weekly COVID Status Report, as will deaths and some
hospital data. Percent positivity will no longer be published since reporting of negative COVID-19
test results which are required for calculating percent positivity will no longer be reported. This also
means the CDC’s Community Transmission Index and Community Transmission Levels will be
discontinued. DPH will continue to update the Status Report every Wednesday for several more
weeks as we assess the data we receive and transition to monthly updates.

 

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