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Prevention, health and well-being focus of HHS as North Dakota moves on from COVID-19

The federal COVID-19 public health emergency is officially over.

The COVID-19 public health emergency has officially ended on the federal level, and North Dakota’s Department of Health and Human Services is taking this opportunity to remind residents about health priorities.

State Health Officer Dr. Nizar Wehbi says this includes early intervention and preventative health screenings, as well as programs and services that are available to support health and well-being.

"During the pandemic, many of us were deferring a lot of the medical need and preventative care. So now it is time to go back and seek annual check-ups with providers; preventative health screenings, whether its immunization, whether it is mammogram or other health screenings - are all really important in detection of these diseases or ailments, at fairly early stages, as well as adopting healthy lifestyles and behaviors."

Wehbi says the most significant health concerns impacting North Dakotans include heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancers, declining childhood immunization rates, substance abuse disorder, untreated mental health needs and deaths by suicide.

Wehbi says some pandemic era programs will expire, but others will remain – like the senior nutrition program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Women Infants and Children (or WIC), heating and cooling assistance, child care assistance and other services.

North Dakotans can visit to learn more about programs or services available.