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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

APIC, Medical Groups Appeal for Pandemic Emergency Extension

By Gary Evans, Medical Writer

With cases of COVID-19 threatening to overrun critical care capacity in several hard-hit states and regions, it would seem a given that the federal order declaring the pandemic a national emergency will remain in place.

As has become increasingly clear, there are no givens in this pandemic. We are beset by a resilient, highly transmissible virus and a disjointed pandemic response that has yet to find its true north.

Given this dire situation, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and many other infectious disease and public health groups are calling for the emergency declaration to be extended beyond a July 25 deadline.

Signed by 15 medical associations and societies, a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urges renewal of the emergency declaration for at least an additional 90 days.

“It is imperative that the federal government continue to deploy all resources and authorities necessary to protect the public and assist states and localities as they continue to respond to this urgent situation,” the letter states. “We cannot afford to ease up on our response to this grave threat.”

Maintaining emergency status fights off complacency and supports research on SARS-CoV-2 in such areas as treatment, diagnostics, and the quest for a vaccine, the letter states.

“I think the idea of continuing the emergency preparations is incredibly important,” says Ann Marie Pettis, RN, BSN, CIC, FAPIC, president-elect of APIC.

For more on this story, see the August issue of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention