Reading Roundup: The Best Articles on the End of the Emergency

The number of articles being written on the end of the national Public Health Emergency can be a little overwhelming. Here are our team’s picks for the best of the best.

Kim Noble
Woman taking mask off of her face
Mujer quitándose la máscara de la cara

What does the end of the national Public Health Emergency (PHE) mean for you?

The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19, declared under Section 319 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, was a big deal because it allowed federal, state, and local governments to respond to the pandemic more quickly as a team. It also provided access to money that expanded medical services, supported research, and sped up the development of tests, treatments, and vaccines. It’s been renewed every 90 days for three years.

Now that it’s ending (May 11, 2023), some people are confused or even panicked about what that means. Our team has written articles that explain what will happen to testing when the PHE ends, including how the change will affect the cost of tests. But there are many fantastic articles out there that explore other coming changes. Here’s a Reading Roundup of our favorites:

  • We at WTT are pretty big fans of Your Local Epidemiologist. Dr. Katelyn Jetelina reliably breaks down complex topics, and she’s great at transforming dry subject matter into interesting articles. Her piece was one of the first articles I encountered that clearly laid out why some things were ending and others were not.

  • If you’re looking for the nitty-gritty details, check out the tables in this article from the Kaiser Family Foundation. This is probably the most comprehensive outline there is, diving into specifics about what is tied to the 319 PHE as well as what other pandemic-era policies are involved. (The writing is pretty dense. You’ve been warned.)

  • Sometimes it makes sense to go right to the source. The Department of Health and Human Services produced this Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Transition Roadmap. It’s a bit dry, but for a government publication, it does an excellent job providing layperson explanations for the many of the things that will stay or go when the PHE ends. 

  • A lot of the recent writing about the Public Health Emergency is understandably focused on the specifics — what resources and services will end or transition. But there’s something else to consider, too… On January 30, 2023, the World Health Organization voted to renew the global Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The same week in the US, Congress voted to end our national emergency. So, are we still in an emergency, or not? This article from Your Local Epidemiologist explores how we evaluate that question. And if we’re not in an emergency, what phase are we in?

Those are just some of the articles we found on this complex topic. Do you have other favorites? Share them with us at or with our whole community on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and perhaps we’ll include one of your recommendations in a future Reading Roundup!