The COVID Health Emergency, in effect for the past two years, is expiring. In a release from his office, Governor John Bel Edwards said, “I will not be renewing it.” As Louisiana and the nation continue making strides in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the significant drop in cases and hospitalizations and the wide availability of safe and effective vaccines, for the first time in 24 months, Gov. John Bel Edwards will not renew his COVID public health emergency order when it expires this week. Gov. Edwards made the announcement during his address at the opening of Louisiana’s 2022 Regular Legislative Session.
“On March 11, 2020 I signed a public health emergency for COVID-19. And while it changed to reflect the ebb and flow of the pandemic, it has remained in effect ever since. This Wednesday, the order expires, and after 24 months, I will not be renewing it,” Gov. Edwards said. “This decision was not made lightly. I have met with GOHSEP, the Department of Health, the Louisiana National Guard, and the Division of Administration to ensure that there will be no federal aid repercussions or other adverse consequences from not renewing the proclamation. I want to be clear that just because the proclamation is expiring doesn’t mean COVID is over. If the circumstances call for it, I will not hesitate to declare another emergency. God willing, we will never have to see such difficult mitigation measures in our state again. Thankfully, at this time, we are no longer in a crisis. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that we are in a much better place today than we were two years ago.”
Gov. Edwards and his public health advisors will continue to monitor the situation with COVID and provide the public with updates and guidance as is necessary to manage public health in Louisiana’s communities and also to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. Should additional needs arise, or the situation change, the Governor could revisit his emergency order in the future.