Local authorities weigh in on end to COVID-19 national emergency

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 5:09 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - The national COVID-19 emergency declaration is set to end on May 11, raising many questions about what happens next.

One of the main concerns is how hospitals will be able to pay for labor and supplies.

“You are going to see hospitals across the nation struggle financially,” said Dr. David Worthy at Baptist Health Corbin. “I think you are going to see a lot close. Even in the state of Kentucky, there’s 50 hospitals at risk of closing.”

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Tests will no longer be free at hospitals or through pharmacies, and other pandemic expenses may need to be paid or out-of-pocket.

“There could be a small fee for vaccinations, some of that is yet to be determined,” said Kevin Hall with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

State health figures show very low or “in the green” transmission in every county except for three in Northeastern Kentucky that are in the yellow.