RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The end is near for the official public health and national COVID-19 emergency declarations. On Monday, President Biden announced both will end on May 11. 8News spoke to Bob Mauskapf, the Virginia Department of Health’s Director of Emergency Preparedness, who shared how it will impact everyday life.
According to Mauskapf, although the emergency declarations are ending, the response to the coronavirus isn’t going anywhere.
People will still be able to track hospitalizations and cases from COVID-19. They will also still have access to test kits and be able to get vaccinated when they need to. He says people should still take the virus seriously.
“They need to be aware, they need to take all the precautions all along since we started this in 2020. It is still a disease of concern,” Mauskapf said. “As they do with flu and other diseases, they need to take the appropriate precautions as we’ve put in all of our information that we put out.”
Mauskapf said he is glad to see there’s been progress with handling the virus but is ready in case anything changes.
“We’re prepared to restart our incident management response if that’s required. But it’s been a long haul, a long drag on all of the folks in the agency and I’m sure on the public at large,” he said.
Mauskapf also says he doesn’t see working remotely and self-isolating ending when the emergency declarations end. He says he believes people have adapted to working from home and the recommendations won’t change when testing positive for COVID.