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Biden administration extends COVID public health emergency
WASHINGTON – The Biden administration said Thursday that the COVID-19 public health emergency will continue through Jan. 11 as officials brace for a spike in cases this winter.
The decision comes as the pandemic has faded from the forefront of many people’s minds. Daily deaths and infections are dropping and people — many of them maskless — are returning to schools, work and grocery stores as normal.
The declaration enabled the emergency authorization of COVID vaccines, testing and treatments for free. It expanded Medicaid coverage to millions of people, many of whom who will risk losing that coverage once the emergency ends. It temporarily opened up telehealth access for Medicare recipients, enabling doctors to collect the same rates for those visits and encouraging health networks to adopt telehealth technology.