5/13/2022 12:01:00 PM Covid situation status quo
for Health & Human services
The federal emergency order issued under President Trump in 2020, in response to the pandemic, has been extended again to mid-July. Chisago County Health & Human Services Director Robert Benson told the County Board this national action has resulted in giving staff a brief reprieve, as their workload will be impacted with a return to normal status.
Benson said the department anticipates this will be the last extension of the order first declared by the federal Secretary of the HHS in January 2020 and re-authorized by then-President Trump in March. The order needs to be renewed every 90 days in order for governmental program waivers and flexibilities in healthcare and coverge to remain effective.
“We are planning for a significant surge in work at (the expiration date of July 15)” Director Benson advised the Board. This is because revisions to programs like Medicare. Medicaid and Child Protective Services that were put in place during the Emergency Order—and which have not been made into law— will expire. Revisions allowed for waiving certain requirements for federal healthcare programs, it allowed for no cost covid testing and vaccinations, and a host of other temporary measures.
Benson said the county department has as its goal to continue to offer a hybrid structure of remote work and in-office hours. But, the June County Board meeting is probably the first opportunity to review all the impacts from the state legislature session and have better estimates on the emergency ending and not being renewed again.