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(KTXL) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that California will be ending the COVID-19 state of emergency in February 2023.

The governor’s office announced that the state is planning to end the COVID-19 State of Emergency on February 28, 2023, nearly three years after it was declared.

According to the governor’s office, this date allows the state to be prepared to handle possible surges during the winter and it provides local governments time to make any necessary changes.

Administration officials said that California often sees surges in late fall and throughout the winter. This current fall and upcoming winter, officials will be keeping an eye on the data and trends to see if there are new challenges.

While the state of emergency is being phased out in the next couple of months, California will continue to enact the “SMARTER Plan,” a set of actions and tools to help mitigate COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

According to a news release that followed the conference call, the Newsom administration will work with the legislature to turn some of the emergency actions into law, such as legislation that would help nurses dispense COVID-19 therapeutics and ensure laboratory workers continue to process COVID-19 tests. 

“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,” Newsom said in the news release. “With the operational preparedness that we’ve built up and the measures that we’ll continue to employ moving forward, California is ready to phase out this tool.”

According to Newsom’s office, the state of emergency allowed California to have the lowest COVID-19 death rate among bigger states, save lives with the vaccination response and protect California’s economy by creating new jobs and businesses.

Administration officials emphasized in the call that residents of California should continue to be mindful of COVID-19, since the virus is still spreading throughout the community despite the state of emergency ending soon.