Newsom to end California's COVID state of emergency in February

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he will end the state's COVID state of emergency early next year. 

Newsom said he's doing away with the declaration on February 28, 2023. He said that timeline will give the health care system needed flexibility to handle any potential surge that may occur after the holidays.

The governor said the state's hospitalizations and COVID-related deaths have reduced drastically due to the state's vaccination and public health efforts. 

Newsom said it's apparent that California has the tools to continue fighting against COVID.

"Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been guided by the science and data – moving quickly and strategically to save lives. The State of Emergency was an effective and necessary tool that we utilized to protect our state, and we wouldn’t have gotten to this point without it," said Newsom.

The decision will have little practical impact on most people’s lives, as most of the nearly 600 pandemic-related orders Newsom has issued since the start of the pandemic have already been lifted. And it won’t affect public health orders — including a pending statewide vaccine mandate for schoolchildren that could take effect next summer.

California was the third U.S. state to declare a state of emergency over COVID in March 2020 after the Golden State recorded its first fatality from the disease.