Governor Gavin Newsom of California on Sunday described the new pandemic plan he introduced last week as a “more sensible and sustainable” approach that would get the state out of “crisis mode” as Omicron cases have decreased significantly and many residents were eager to move on.
His comments on MSNBC follow an announcement from state officials last week about the “next phase” planwhich would prioritize strategies like coronavirus vaccinations and stockpiling supplies while easing emergency response measures like mask-wearing duties.
“A year and a half, two years ago, we had a metaphor for war, and we hope to one day have a World War II dollar march,” said Governor Newsom. “However, at the end of the day, I think we’re realizing that we’re going to have to live with different variants and this disease for many, many years. And that’s what this plan does, it lays out a roadmap for doing it in a sustainable way. ”
The Omicron variant has caused a large increase in California. Although the state has seen a sharp drop in the number of known infections since mid-January, new infections still hover at more than 13,000 per day. Overall through the pandemic, the coronavirus has infected at least a fifth of Californians and killed more than 84,000, According to the New York Times database.
California is among many states to relax mask requirements in recent weeks, with Hawaii being the last state to hold the statewide mandate. Puerto Rico has also not announced the upcoming changes.
But federal health officials have not released yet any new recommendations that reflect the lifting of restrictions – including the regulation of masks in schools – in almost every state, and America’s path to the next phase remains complicated.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last week cited the need for “vigilance” for infections to continue to fall as promised across the country. She said the CDC will soon be releasing “relevant” new guidelines that will recommend adjusting restrictions, including mask wearing, based on factors like hospital capacity, not just case numbers. .
Despite the comebacks across the country, many people is still extremely vulnerable and feels left behind by the changes. More than seven million adults in the United States are considered immunocompromised, which means they have a disease or are receiving treatment such as chemotherapy that reduces their ability to fight coronavirus infection or responds well to vaccines. And tens of millions have other conditions put them at greater risk serious illness or death.
California’s new plan emphasizes surveillance and preparedness, focuses on continuing to promote vaccines while stockpiling medical supplies, ensures staff are beefed up, combats misinformation, and increases wastewater and genomic monitoring to detect new variants. Under the plan, mask requirements will be able to change based on the severity and volume of new infections.
In his speech on MSNBC, Mr Newsom acknowledged the fatigue people felt because of the “hacking component” of changing rules and policies depending on each hike or fall. “We were exhausted. Everyone is exhausted. And at the same time, we were also a little nervous. What does the future hold? ” he say.
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Newsom said California’s new policy is based on a two-month review of worldwide best practices. But he stressed the need to be “modest” in the face of a virus that can continue to mutate in unexpected ways.
On CNN on Sunday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis also highlighted uncertainty about what could be going around, even though he lifted mask regulations and other restrictions this summer. last. When asked why so many governors are doing so now, he stressed the protection now provided by booster shots, significantly reduced risk of serious illness.
“I think it’s important that we prepare for an uncertain future,” said Governor Polis. “And I think many states are doing that. I hope the federal government does too.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/20/health/newsom-california-covid-plan.html Newsom’s New Lively Plan to Get California Out of ‘Crisis Mode’