Frequently Asked Questions
About the Public Health Emergency Ending
State and federal Public Health Emergency Declarations ended on May 11, 2023. You may be wondering what this means for you in terms of access to vaccines, testing, and therapeutics.
CCDPH will continue doing what we’ve done throughout the pandemic. This includes:
- Providing necessary resources to keep suburban Cook County communities healthy, such as free: COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters; in-home vaccinations; rides to vaccination appointments; and test kits for select organizations to distribute to vulnerable and high-risk populations.
- Recovery efforts for suburban Cook County communities hit hardest by COVID-19. CCDPH recently awarded: 39 grants totaling over $8 million in Building Healthier Communities (BHC) COVID-19 Response, Recovery and Resiliency funding; and 20 grants totaling nearly $17 million in BHC Behavioral Health funding to expand mental health and substance use prevention, treatment and support.
- Providing public information, education and outreach. Our Boost Up Cook County campaign reminds residents that COVID is still a threat and vaccination is still the best way to protect against severe illness, hospitalization or death. Community partner organizations and health workers have been sharing print materials with businesses and the public through door-to-door canvassing and free vaccination events. Visit our website and follow us on social media for the latest updates.
What is an emergency declaration?
What emergency declarations were issued related to COVID-19?
The Trump administration first declared a public health emergency (PHE) on January 31, 2020, and declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020. A PHE lasts 90 days, so it was renewed multiple times. Governors in all 50 states also issued state emergency declarations related to COVID-19, that were separate from the national emergency and PHE. The Illinois PHE ended May 11.
What COVID-19 policies were affected?
Under the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration, the government had more flexibility in a number of health-related areas—including fully covering the cost of most COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines. With the emergency declaration ending, coverage for COVID-19 will become more like coverage for other medical conditions. More information will become available about specific changes, some of which might vary based on health insurance.
Does this mean COVID-19 is over?
Ending the COVID-19 emergency declarations does not mean the virus has been eradicated. States of emergencies are intended to be temporary, and when emergency powers expire, that does not mean that all policies related to COVID-19 end. Continue to consult CDC’s website and boostupcookcounty.com for guidance. CDC continues to advise that everyone get vaccinated, use at-home tests if you’ve been exposed or have symptoms, stay home if you’re sick, and wear a high-quality mask when COVID-19 levels are high. These precautions are the best ways we can continue to protect ourselves and manage the pandemic as it continues to evolve.
Medicaid Continuous Coverage Ended 3/31/23 – Take Action Now to Maintain Coverage
Medicaid Continuous Enrollment was a provision that ensured people would not lose coverage during the pandemic, but the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration ended May 11, 2023, and with it, Medicaid Continuous Enrollment and other Medicaid flexibilities will be ending too. This means:
- Medicaid customers could lose coverage as soon as July 1, so don’t wait to renew.
- Individuals must go back to applying yearly for the redetermination of benefits.
- It is critical that Medicaid beneficiaries take action to maintain coverage.
Updated May 23, 2023, 2:26 PM