ST. LOUIS – More than three years after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, St. Louis City and St. Louis County are lifting COVID-19 state of emergency declarations.

Emergency declarations have been lifted as of 9 a.m. Friday.

According to a joint news release, the dropped declarations come after guidance from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, the St. Louis Department of Health and the region’s hospital systems.

In St. Louis City and County, the daily number of COVID-19 cases has dropped dramatically. Officials say hospitals are no longer feeling the stress of COVID cases and are better equipped to treat the virus than previously in the pandemic.

Health officials say a COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots still remain the best form of protection against the virus.