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Health Law Monitor

WEST VIRGINIA TERMINATES COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY

January 13, 2023

By: John Mark Huff

Effective January 1, 2023, West Virginia Governor, Jim Justice, terminated the state's COVID-19 State of Emergency.[1]  According to the Governor’s Executive Order, “the State of Emergency declared in that certain Proclamation issued March 16, 2020, is hereby terminated  as of January 1, 2023, and that, therefore, any and all Executive Orders issued under such State of Emergency are likewise terminated and without further effect, effective as of January 1, 2023, in order to give adequate time for emergency rules to be lifted and for statutory regulations to be reinstated without harmful effect on West Virginians.”[2]

Although West Virginia has terminated its State of Emergency regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Biden Administration has not.[3]  In a Declaration entitled Renewal of Determination that a Public Health Emergency Exists, United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra stated that “[a]s a consequence of the continued consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic…I…renew [the]…determination by former Secretary Alex M. Azar II…that a public health emergency exists and has existed since January 27, 2020, nationwide.”[4]

This is important for practitioners, because while some federal rules regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic may still be in place, all COVID-19 Executive Orders issued by Governor Justice were terminated as of January 1, 2023.  Therefore, it is important to be aware of the authority under which the practitioner is operating, because it is no longer business as usual under the previous COVID-19 emergency rules in West Virginia.


[1] https://www.wsaz.com/2022/11/30/justice-end-wvas-covid-19-state-emergency/ (last visited January 13, 2023).

[2] State of West Virginia Executive Order on State of Emergency, dated November 12, 2022 (https://governor.wv.gov/Documents/2022%20Proclamations/11%20NOV%202022/111222-Proclamation-Terminating-SOE.pdf) (last visited January 13, 2023).

[3] https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-administration-extends-covid-19-public-health-emergency-again (last visited January 13, 2023).

[4] Renewal of Determination That A Public Health Emergency Exists, dated January 11, 2023 (https://aspr.hhs.gov/legal/PHE/Pages/covid19-11Jan23.aspx) (last visited January 13, 2023).

 

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