COVID National, State Emergencies End May 11

HYANNIS – Both coronavirus emergencies declared at the national and state levels will end on Thursday, May 11, and Cape Cod Healthcare officials have outlined what that means for local patients.

Chief Medical Officer for the organization Dr. William Agel explained that the emergency expirations come as COVID-19’s impact on the nation has been on the decline.

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that nearly 98% of counties within the United States–the Cape and Islands area included–have low community levels of the virus.

Agel attributes this in part to a built immunity to COVID, be it through contracting the virus or vaccination.

One of the major changes coming at the expiration of the emergency periods will be the end of free at-home testing for most people.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has noted, though, that Medicaid programs will continue to cover testing costs through the end of September 2024.

Through that same time, Medicaid will also cover treatments like Paxlovid and Lagevrio without cost-sharing.

Free vaccine and booster shots will still be available for many people, as Agel said most private insurance companies will still cover those expenditures.

Telehealth will still be covered through Medicare through the end of 2024. A policy for opioid treatment enacted during the pandemic that allows for take-home methadone doses will continue until May 11, 2024, while a telehealth screening program for buprenorphine prescriptions will also continue.

Cape Cod Healthcare said those initiatives could both become permanent due to their successes.

HHS has advised that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authority to enact or continue emergency use authorizations for tests, treatments, and vaccines do not expire with the emergency declarations.

For more information on the next steps, visit Cape Cod Healthcare’s website by clicking here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy