California Governor Gavin Newsom has lifted the state’s lockdown measures allowing counties to reopen and function freely.
But as per reports, hospitals and care units in South California and San Joaquin valley are overflowing with patients due to which health experts suggest that even though the lockdowns have been lifted, extreme precautions have to be taken at all times.
California Lifts Lockdown: Experts Warn Safety Caution
Stanford University biologist Erin Mordecai remarked that community spread is at higher risk once businesses reopen making social distancing difficult.
She also stated that as long the safety measures are followed well, new cases can be reduced.
With new variants of the virus as well as vaccine shortages in different parts of the world, health officials suggest being cautious enough as the pandemic is likely to take more time to end.
California’s blueprint for reducing the coronavirus consists of various criteria for modifying the restrictions on outdoor activities.
This allows shops to be reopened with modifications, restaurants provide outside dining, and entertainment centers such as movies or zoos can continue with their outside services.
The lockdown being lifted is mostly based on the current ICU capacity available. As per recent numbers, there are no available hospital beds or intensive care units. But within 4 weeks of time, it is expected to clear out.
Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Andra Blomklans stated that the hospitals might take more time to free up the beds, and therefore the governor’s decision of lifting the lockdowns is too soon.
The state officials said that they have expanded the virus treatment facilities by setting up more health care units and employed 4000+ health workers. They also helped overcrowded hospitals to transfer patients to better facilities.
California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) criticized Newsom’s decision by stating that the lockdown should have been extended instead of being lifted.
The group’s executive director Emily Rusch added that it will also lead to unnecessary cases and deaths, and failure to control the virus can lead to more economic harm as seen in the past year.
With new coronavirus variants on the rise such as those seen in the U.K and South Africa, it is highly anticipated that California would also be joining Florida along with the many other places detected with the new variant.
But both Mordecai and Blomkalns expressed their understanding of state officials by saying that they were balancing public health with economic demands along with mental health needs.
Blomklans also said how people were tired of being at home all the time and that temporarily loosening the rules can even help energize their mental health since they are always confined to their homes.
She also stated the importance of following safety guidelines and not organize any mass gatherings.
The state is looking forward to analyse the hospital capacity and make further decisions.