The Biden administration said Monday it plans to end the nation’s COVID-19 public health emergency in May, more than three years after the virus first began circulating in the country.

The White House plans to renew the existing emergency declarations once more before they expire on May 11, allowing local governments and health care providers to transition back to pre-pandemic operations and avoid any chaos caused by an abrupt end to the declarations. Under the public health emergency, programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are able to provide extra funding to states to address pandemic-related care. Millions of Americans were able to receive free COVID-19 tests, and many are able to receive virus-related treatments without co-payments.

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