The rapidly declining coronavirus cases have helped many countries ease off the restrictions imposed during the pandemic. Lockdown, social distancing, closure of public places, compulsory masking have been either lifted off in some countries, while others are gradually lifting it off.
The Covid Emergency Has Not Ended In California
Many restrictions were lifted off a few months back, owing to the decline of cases, but the highly transmissible and the most dominant strain of coronavirus, omicron, forced many nations to bring back those restrictions. Many newer restrictions were imposed due to omicron.
California continues to struggle with coronavirus cases and flooded hospitals with very limited staffing. Carmela Coyle, President, and CEO of the California Hospital Association say that the health system of California has been very badly affected by the pandemic.
California’s death rates during the pandemic have always been low, as California Government has been able to tackle the coronavirus cases very well and the majority of the Californian population remains fully vaccinated and boosted against the disease.
The SMARTER Plan introduced in California aims at implementing better treatment for COVID-19. It is an acronym for shots, masks, awareness, readiness, testing, education, and Rx. As the name suggests, the SMARTER plan emphasizes more on getting vaccinated and getting tested and treated with medicines when necessary to control the spread of the infection.
Since March 2020, since California had been declared a state of emergency, 561 orders had been issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Many of these small and big orders were stopped by the government as and when they were deemed necessary and only 15% remained effective until recent times. Now the state is preparing to lift all the remaining executive actions, with only 5% executive actions in place from today.
Several restrictions lifted off in California include the Stay Home Order, physical distancing, mask mandates in indoor settings for vaccinated people, and County Tier System.
Mask mandate however continues in schools and a decision on removing mask mandate from schools will be announced soon. Other restrictions like vaccine mandates remain in place. Public health orders that are issued by state and public health officers also remain in place.
The 5% executive actions, or 30 executive actions, that remain still effective even today are absolutely necessary to encourage people to get vaccinated and boosted and to get more COVID-19 testing done. Provisions are also in place so that COVID workplace safety standards remain in place.
With the prevailing coronavirus emergency, other California state emergencies that were in place for a few years have been ended by Gov. Gavin Newsom, but he is still hesitant to end the coronavirus emergency. A total of 12 emergencies ended by the Governor included emergencies for heatwaves, oil spills, wildfires, and many more.
This created unrest among the Republicans, according to whom these executive orders need to be lifted off as many states had already reopened up. Others believe that stopping the coronavirus emergency may take a toll on the healthcare system. They cited examples from other states where restrictions are still in place.
An emergency once declared, cannot be lifted off until there is the stabilization of the situation. With hospitals still crowded with active coronavirus cases, very limited staffing and a share of the population still unvaccinated, the California Government feels this is not the ideal time to lift off the coronavirus emergency from the state, though cases are declining in the past few days.
With scientists and researchers worldwide predicting the emergence of new variants of coronavirus, the future is still unpredictable how the coronavirus and its variants will affect our health. To make the situation better, more and more testing should be done, more and more people should get vaccinated and boosted at the earliest.