May 11, 2023, marked the end of the Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Over the past three years, more than 380,000 New Hampshire residents tested positive for COVID-19. We continue to extend our sympathies to the friends and families of the 3,055 Granite Staters who have died from COVID-19.
As the Federal PHE officially ends, changes that are expected:
- COVID-19 vaccines and boosters will still be available at no cost while supplies last. Most commercial insurance companies and Medicaid will continue to provide support.
- Free antigen tests remain widely available in communities while supplies last.
- Doctors and healthcare providers no longer need to report information about positive COVID-19 cases to the DHHS Division of Public Health Services.
- Recommendations for who should receive updated boosters will continue to evolve. The CDC has published new Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines. People who have questions or concerns about how to protect themselves from COVID-19 should talk with their primary care providers, especially individuals who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19, such as older adults and people with compromised immune systems.
- New Hampshire’s COVID-19 Dashboard will change over time. DHHS is developing a new, streamlined dashboard.
What will continue:
- Access to COVID-19 vaccinations and certain treatments, such as Paxlovid, will generally not be affected. Vaccines will be available at health care providers and at retail pharmacies. The Mobile Van will continue to have free vaccine available until May 31, 2023.
- In most cases, access to telehealth to identify and treat COVID-19 will not change. Healthcare providers and patients may continue to utilize telehealth services for this purpose. New Hampshire’s partnership with On-Site Medical Services for free telehealth services for treatment of COVID-19 will continue until August 31, 2023.
- New Hampshire will continue to partner with select communities to monitor wastewater for the presence of COVID-19 and data will continue to be published on the New Hampshire COVID-19 Dashboard.
“As the Federal Public Health Emergency ends, we want to thank everyone for the steps they took to protect themselves and their neighbors from the health impacts of COVID-19,” said Lori Weaver, Interim Commissioner, NH Department of Health and Human Services. “The people of New Hampshire showed resiliency throughout the pandemic. Thank you to the countless health care providers, public health networks and volunteers, National Guard members, retail pharmacies, and others that pitched in to keep their communities healthy. We owe a debt of gratitude to those that helped us stay strong during the pandemic.”
As the State’s response to COVID-19 is changing, COVID-19 is still very much with us. The virus can still pose a threat to the health and well-being and individuals, especially for older adults and people with chronic health conditions and compromised immune systems, so we urge everyone to continue to take simple steps to stay healthy. Wash your hands, test when you are feeling sick, and stay up to date with all recommended vaccines.