Most populous county in U.S. lifts public health emergency for COVID-19

LOS ANGELES, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Los Angeles, the most populous county in the United States, will end its local public health emergency for COVID-19 on Friday, authorities said.

"As the longest emergency in L.A. County history draws to a close after 1,122 days, we honor the 36,000 who lost their lives and reflect on the opportunity to serve the public during this challenging time," wrote county officials in a tweet.

The local state of emergency for COVID-19 was initially proclaimed on March 4, 2020, in Los Angeles County, home to over 10 million residents.

The county, once one of the hardest-hit parts in the United States amid the pandemic, reported 1,269 new COVID-19 cases and 24 new related deaths earlier this week, bringing the countywide tallies to over 3.72 million cases and 35,994 deaths as of Tuesday, according to the latest update of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

"The end of the emergency doesn't mean the end of L.A. County's support for residents who continue to struggle with COVID-19 and its impacts," county officials tweeted.

They noted in a statement that this means changes in some programs but many services will continue to be available to support residents in the county.

With the lifting of county, state and federal COVID-19 emergency orders, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health continues to ensure easy access to free vaccines, boosters, tests and therapeutics, public health officials said in a statement last week, urging local residents to maintain sensible precautions to minimize disruptions at worksites, schools and health care facilities caused by COVID-19 outbreaks.

The COVID-19 emergency state in California, the most populous state of the United States, officially ended on Feb. 28, nearly three years after Governor Gavin Newsom issued the country's first statewide stay-at-home order. In January, the White House announced its plan to end the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency on May 11.

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