As the federal government plans to end the COVID-19 public health emergency, many programs the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services put in place to support the state during the pandemic are being rolled back.
The federal public health emergency will end on May 11.
The NCDHHS announced changes to its COVID-19 dashboard and state-funded testing sites; including the retirement of its COVID-19 vaccination data after May 31.
In addition, NCDHHS ended its remaining community testing sites on March 31, as home test kits are now widely available and people can often get them for free. NCDHHS also encourages North Carolina residents to keep several tests on hand.
"While we continue to see illness and deaths from COVID-19, it is no longer the threat it once was thanks to testing, vaccines and treatment," Dr. Susan Kansagra, the director of the NCDHHS Division of Public Health, said in the press release.
According to a March 29 press release from NCDHHS, nationwide vaccination data will continue to be available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“At this point in North Carolina’s response, COVID-19 has become part of a routine part of public health and health care activities,” NCDHHS communications specialist Bailey Pennington Allison said in an email.
Dr. David Wohl, a professor of medicine at UNC, said the current transition is a shift from an initial response to a more status-quo response. He said the state is moving away from some of the reporting and monitoring activities that were necessary earlier in the pandemic.
"Whether we like it or not, we've entered a different phase of the pandemic," Wohl said.