The Covid-19 public health emergency that has been in effect for over three years in Connecticut expires today, as does the federal emergency declaration. A number of related programs and services are affected.
In general, Covid-19 will be handled the same as other respiratory diseases.
According to a briefing by Governor Ned Lamont, coverage of costs for Covid-19 PCR tests will transition to private or publicly funded insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, or to individuals. The same is true for at-home self-test kits.
Free self-test kits from the federal government may still be available from covid.gov/tests, but probably not for long.
The four test sites the state still operates at community health centers will close on June 30. On the same day, the state’s Department of Public Health will end its mobile vaccination service and its homebound vaccination program.
Costs for Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters will transition to traditional health care coverage. According to the statement, “it is anticipated that most private and public insurance plans will continue covering all costs of Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters without a co-pay or cost-share for consumers.”
The remaining federal vaccine inventory will be distributed to providers for use at no cost to patients until it is depleted or the doses expire.
The costs of treatments for Covid-19 medication, such as Paxlovid and Lagevrio, will also transition to traditional coverage.
An exception to the cessation of programs is support for long-term care facilities, where DPH will continue to help identify Covid-19 outbreaks and offer education and training to protect those most vulnerable. Waivers for the Women, Infants, and Children Program will end on August 9.
“Ending the Covid-19 public health emergency declaration does not mean that the virus has been eradicated,” said Governor Lamont. “I continue to urge Connecticut residents to take actions to protect themselves from the spread of Covid-19 and all respiratory viruses. Stay home when you’re sick, get vaccinated and boosted to limit your risk of contracting viruses, and listen to the advice of medical experts on ways to stay healthy.”
Public Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani said, “We hope that Covid-19 will follow the trajectory of other seasonal illnesses, but we certainly expect to once again ramp up our efforts during respiratory disease season, which typically runs from October through April.”