OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)

January 11 was the date the Department of Health and Human Services was going to officially call an end to the COVID Public Health Emergency.

But the government reportedly gave no notice, so it didn’t happen, and won’t, at least until April.

But even then, how much change will we see?

Ohio County Health Administrator Howard Gamble said the answer is…not much.

He says there won’t be a moment when everything COVID-related stops.

“Vaccines are going to be out there,” Gamble noted. “We still get vaccines from the State of West Virginia and from the supplier of those vaccines. And they’re still provided for free. And those will probably continue to quite some time.”

Some things have already changed.

The free COVID testing drive-throughs are gone.

Now there are at-home test kits or testing by your doctor or clinic.

And the tracking of case numbers is over.

No one will call and tell you to quarantine.

But Gamble says what won’t go away completely is COVID.

“The key is, if you haven’t gotten vaccinated, you can still get vaccinated,” he said. “And if you haven’t gotten a booster, you can still get it. First we have to remember that the pandemic hasn’t stopped. It is still continuing across the globe. But for the United States, we are in a stage where we can bring down our emergency declaration.”

He said omicron and other sub-variants are still out there.