WHO Declares End to COVID-19 Global Health Emergency


On Friday, May 5, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of COVID-19 as a global public health emergency, over three years after it was first issued on Jan. 30, 2020. In the United States, the public health emergency officially ended on May 11, 2023.

This announcement comes with joy and relief as our society has been ravaged by the virus for the past few years. As of May 17, 2023, there have been 766,440,796 confirmed cases, and among them, 6,392,591 deaths reported by the WHO. However, things finally seem to be improving. Due to population immunity from vaccinations and infections, the number of cases and deaths is the lowest it has ever been since the start of the pandemic. As a result, many countries have returned to pre-pandemic life with mask mandates being removed, indoor dining becoming the norm again, and social distancing being virtually nonexistent.

Despite all of this, officials still urge citizens to not let their guard down as COVID-19 is still spreading and will continue to stick around, just like other pandemics in history. Although the global health emergency is over, the virus still remains a threat, especially for the elderly and immunocompromised. It is imperative that government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and individuals around the world still remain vigilant as we don’t know what the future will bring.