Last Saturday marked three years since the coronavirus was declared a global health pandemic. Now, the White House has announced that the national emergency regarding the coronavirus pandemic will end on May 11.
Hospitals across the country must now prepare to return to normal as workforce shortages, increases in the cost of medical supplies and supply chain issues put more pressure on the healthcare system. According to the American Hospital Association, the Biden administration committed to giving a 60-day notice to healthcare workers before terminating the public health emergency.
Dr. Ebony Copeland, director of the Howard University Student Health Center and an assistant professor for the Department of Community and Family Medicine, affirmed in a statement to The Hilltop that people who are still concerned about COVID-19 should stay up to date on vaccinations, maintain good hand hygiene and wear a face covering if they choose to do so.
“The change in emergency status does not change the health recommendations. Vaccination is still highly recommended. Currently, the campus does not require masks, masks may be required at the discretion of the professors and students should make sound decisions regarding wearing a mask based on their personal health history and comfort level,” Copeland said.
As many Americans received various financial support during the pandemic, the federal response has been weakened in Congress as Republican legislators attempted to have the national emergency ended immediately. Congress also failed to approve a request from the White House for $22.5 billion in additional funding that would be distributed by the federal government.
Maya Berthoud, who is an honors sophomore psychology major from San Diego, has worn a face mask since her early childhood due to her mother being at high risk for infection, or immunocompromised.
“It’s more about awareness for other people who still need perfectly healthy people like me to wear a mask. I wear a mask during flu season to help protect the people around me,” Berthoud said.
Copy edited by Nhandi Long-Shipman