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COVID-19 Global Emergency Ends, Rhode Island’s State of Emergency Continues

In a recent announcement, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an end to the global emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, marking a significant milestone in the fight against the virus.

However, Rhode Island will maintain its state of emergency for a little longer.

The WHO’s declaration, which comes more than three years after the pandemic began, indicates a positive shift in the global situation.

Nonetheless, local health officials urge the public to remain vigilant, emphasizing that COVID-19 has not disappeared entirely.

In the United States alone, over a thousand people are still dying from the virus each week, highlighting the ongoing threat.

While the global emergency status is lifted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assures the availability of various tools, vaccines, treatments, and testing.

This ensures that the necessary resources will continue to be accessible to combat the virus.

For Rhode Islanders, the end of the global emergency will not affect access to COVID-19 vaccines or their cost.

The Department of Health has confirmed that all residents will still receive the vaccine at no expense.

Additionally, several testing and treatment sites will remain open across the state.

However, there are changes regarding the coverage of COVID-19 tests.

Once the public health emergency ends, private insurance providers and Medicare will no longer be required to cover the cost of self-tests.

Medicaid recipients, on the other hand, will still receive coverage with no out-of-pocket expenses until September 2024.

To stay updated on the specific changes implemented nationally and locally, the Rhode Island Department of Health provides a comprehensive list.

The CDC has also modified its data collection and sharing procedures.

In the wake of these developments, the federal government offers free testing kits to the public.

As the battle against COVID-19 continues, health experts emphasize the importance of following CDC guidelines, including obtaining booster shots when advised.

They caution against complacency, urging individuals not to dismiss the virus with an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.

While the end of the global emergency signifies progress, it is crucial for everyone to remain cautious and prioritize public health measures until the pandemic is fully under control.

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