California Gov. Gavin Newsom officially ended the COVID-19 state of emergency that was declared in March 2020.

While the order has been rescinded, the governor said the state would continue with the SMARTER plan that was introduced in February 2022.

“… the conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property declared in the State of Emergency proclamation listed below no longer exist,” Newsom wrote in the Tuesday proclamation. “Accordingly, any Executive Orders related to the
terminated State of Emergency will also no longer be in effect…”

The proclamation took effect right before midnight Tuesday, but the state was already in the midst of a transition period away from rules and regulations that were in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking toward an endemic from COVID-19, the mandates have turned into suggestions in the SMARTER Plan, which is an acronym for shots, masks, awareness, readiness, testing, education and RX.

“As we enter the next phase of the pandemic, the state is better equipped than ever to protect Californians from COVID-19 with smart strategies that save lives and advance our ongoing recovery,” Governor Newsom said after introducing the plan on February 2022. “Building on proven tools – rooted in science and data – that have been honed over the past two years, we’re keeping our guard up with a focus on continued readiness, awareness and flexibility to adapt to the evolving pandemic. As we have throughout the pandemic, the state will continue applying the lessons we’ve learned about the virus to keep California moving forward.”

State and local officials will continue to recommend that Californians get vaccinated against COVID-19, wear masks when applicable and be aware of the medications available if infected with the disease, such as molnupiravir and Paxlovid.

In Los Angeles County, the board of supervisors also voted to end its COVID-19 emergency declaration on March 31.

“We’re in a very different place than we were three years ago,” Sup. Janice Hahn said Tuesday. “COVID is still with us, but it is no longer an emergency. It’s time.”

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