Skip to main content

County Services           How Do I?     

COVID-19 Update: End of Federal Public Health Emergency Funding, Implications for the Community

(Ithaca, N.Y., May 11, 2023) – Tompkins County Whole Health is sharing with the community information regarding the end of the Federal Emergency Declaration, on Thursday, May 11, 2023.

Government funding associated with the Federal Emergency Declaration covered many costs for insurance companies and healthcare providers, allowing for free vaccinations, testing services, and supplies. The end of this funding, for the general public, will primarily be reflected in changes to what your health insurance covers, such as co-pays. It is best to speak with your insurance provider to find out what the cost of a receiving a PCR test would be, or the cost of the vaccine, as different insurances will offer different options.

New York State provides information about health insurance coverage related to COVID-19 online. If you would like to learn more about overall health insurance options, dial 211 to speak with a local Health Insurance Navigator or make an appointment online.


Access to COVID-19 vaccinations will generally not be affected. When this transition to traditional health care coverage occurs this May, many Americans will not have out-of-pocket expenses for the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) are a preventive health service for most private insurance plans and will be fully covered without a co-pay. Currently, COVID-19 vaccinations are covered under Medicare Part B without cost sharing, and this will continue. Medicaid will continue to cover all COVID-19 vaccinations without a co-pay or cost sharing through September 30, 2024, and will cover ACIP-recommended vaccines for most beneficiaries thereafter.

It is essential to receive the COVID-19 bivalent booster. Everyone ages 6mos+ can receive the bivalent booster. The vaccine is readily available at healthcare providers and local pharmacies. Find an appointment time near you online at: or dial 211 for assistance.

Tompkins County Whole Health continues to provide COVID-19 vaccination for children and adults who are eligible through our New York State funded vaccination programs. Those under age 19 may be eligible for if they:

  • Are currently enrolled in Medicaid
  • Have Child Health Plus
  • Are underinsured: your insurance does not cover the vaccine
  • Do not have insurance
  • Are Native American or Alaska Native

Adults ages 19+ may be eligible if they:

  • Are underinsured: your insurance does not cover the vaccine
  • Do not have insurance

Learn more about these options online at: or call our office at 607-274-6604.

Whole Health Medical Director Dr. William Klepack stated, “Nationwide, persons dying of COVID-19 are mostly those who have not been vaccinated and boosted. Too few individuals in Tompkins County have been boosted (only 3 out of every 10 who are eligible have received their updated boosters). The COVID-19 bivalent vaccine is proven to be safe and effective. Vaccination is essential to reducing negative health outcomes associated with the COVID-19 virus. We encourage everyone ages 6 months and older to get boosted.”


The Federal Emergency Declaration supported quick production of vaccines and self-test supplies that would otherwise go through a longer process to receive FDA approval. At this point in time, more thorough studies of these products have been conducted and the standard FDA approval process can be resumed, without delaying urgent, time-sensitive product development and distribution. Please note that these additional studies have shown antigen test kits remain effective beyond the expiration date printed on their box. To find the updated expiration date of the specific test kits you have at home, go to the FDA’s website. This data is being updated frequently. 

Tompkins County Whole Health and the Department of Emergency Response are continuing to work collaboratively with the state to provide COVID-19 self-test kits, free of cost, to community members. We will continue to provide self-test kits while supplies are available and we do not anticipate the ending of the Federal Emergency Declaration will impact these efforts. These supplies are available at local libraries and municipal centers; please contact your local organization first before arriving as supplies may be limited. Learn more online: or dial 211 for assistance. 


Access to certain COVID-19 treatments, such as Paxlovid and Lagevrio, will generally not be affected by the ending of the Emergency Declaration. Changes will primarily be reflected in what your health insurance covers, such as co-pays. Most provisions for telehealth access will still be covered, as telehealth has been deemed an effective method of treatment. It is best to speak with your insurance provider to find out what the cost of treatment would be, or what provisions for telehealth will be covered, as different insurances will offer different options.


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will be discontinuing their “Community Level” metric, as authorizations to collect certain public health data will expire with the end of the Public Health Emergency. Moving forward, COVID-19–associated hospital admission levels will be the primary indicator of COVID-19 trends to help guide community and personal decisions related to risk and prevention behaviors. Additionally, vaccination data will be updated on a monthly basis, instead of weekly. Whole Health’s dashboard will be updated to reflect these changes.

Whole Health Commissioner Frank Kruppa stated, “While the Emergency Declaration is coming to an end, COVID-19 is here to stay. We must take the lessons we’ve learned over the past three years to continue to reduce impact of this virus: stay up to date on vaccinations, seek testing when needed, stay home when ill and wear a high-quality mask to reduce the spread of respiratory diseases, especially in settings to protect those with weakened immune systems.”

For more information, go online to: or dial 211.
Tompkins County Whole Health (formerly the Tompkins County Health Department) envisions a future where every person in Tompkins County can achieve wellness. Find us online at, and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TCWholeHealth. Get Whole Health updates or other county announcements via email or text, sign up here.

Media contact: Shannon Alvord,