SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the COVID-19 state of emergency will end on Feb. 28, 2023, according to a press release from his office.

“This timeline gives the health care system needed flexibility to handle any potential surge that may occur after the holidays in January and February, in addition to providing state and local partners the time needed to prepare for this phaseout and set themselves up for success afterwards,” the press release stated.

The press release defended Newsom’s record compared to states that had more lax COVID-19 policies.

“If California had Texas’ death rate, 27,000 more people would have died here,” the press release stated. “If California had Florida’s rate, that figure jumps to approximately 56,000 more deaths.”

Some 81 million doses of vaccine were administered in California, as well as 186 million tests.

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“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 stated. “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.”