White House Renews Covid Public Health Emergency Again
The extension lasts for another 90 days. In related covid news on the XBB.1.5 variant: why it doesn't get a Greek letter; what you should know about its spread; and more.
Biden Administration Extends COVID Public Health Emergency
The COVID-19 public health emergency will be extended for another 90 days, maintaining a long set of Trump-era allowances and programs affecting much of U.S. health care. When the emergency does end, it will bring major policy shifts to insurance markets, drug approvals and telehealth. (Reed, 1/11)
White House Extends COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Once Again
An administration official told The Hill, “The decision to terminate the COVID [public health emergency] will be made by the HHS Secretary based on the best available data and science. Any suggestion that a specific end date has been established is untrue.” (Choi, 1/11)
In news on XBB.1.5, the "Kraken" covid subvariant —
The Kraken COVID Variant Isn’t Different Enough From Other Omicrons To Get A Greek Letter, WHO Official Says
New Omicron variant XBB.1.5, dubbed Kraken, doesn’t differ enough from other Omicron strains to warrant its own Greek letter, WHO officials said Wednesday. While Kraken, rapidly growing in the U.S., is “incredibly transmissible” and spreads faster than other circulating variants like BQ.1.1, it still belongs in the Omicron family, Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead for COVID-19 response at the WHO, said at a news conference. (Prater, 1/11)
WHO Weighs In On Omicron XBB.1.5 Subvariant; US Extends COVID Health Emergency
The World Health Organization (WHO) advisory group on virus evolution said the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant is poised to drive an increase in COVID-19 cases, but it cautioned that confidence in its assessment is low, because most of the information is based on data from just one country—the United States. (Schnirring, 1/11)
How Much Should People Worry About Covid's XBB.1.5 Variant? Our Medical Analyst Explains
A new Covid-19 variant, XBB.1.5, is spreading rapidly throughout the United States. In December 2022, the proportion of new Covid-19 infections due to this Omicron offshoot have increased from 4% to 18%, according to a January 6 release from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is projected to rise further still. In some parts of the country, it constitutes more than half of all new infections. According to the World Health Organization, XBB.1.5 is the most transmissible form of Omicron yet. What should people know about XBB.1.5? (Hetter, 1/12)
Los Angeles Times:
Will Omicron Subvariant XBB.1.5 Fuel California COVID Surge?
The latest Omicron subvariant — perhaps the most infectious yet — has gained a foothold in California, a potentially problematic development given the possibility of a post-holiday spike. However, it’s unclear whether the circulation of this latest strain, XBB.1.5, will alter the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Money and Lin II, 1/11)