State Relaxes Protocols, Unveils New Pandemic Response Plan | public safety

FONTANA — As California emerges from the Omicron push, Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday, Feb. 17 unveiled the state’s SMARTER plan, the next phase of California’s response to the pandemic.

Building on lessons learned over the past two years and the state’s continued commitment to equity, the SMARTER plan will guide California’s strategic approach to managing COVID-19 while doing advance the recovery of the state. Emphasizing continued preparedness, awareness and flexibility, the plan aims to ensure that California can continue to focus on communities that continue to be disproportionately impacted and remain ready to respond quickly and effectively to variants. emerging from COVID-19 and changing conditions.

“As we enter the next phase of the pandemic, the state is better equipped than ever to protect Californians from COVID-19 with smart strategies that are saving lives and advancing our ongoing recovery,” Newsom said, who presented the plan at a state-run event. warehouse in Fontana storing personal protective equipment. “Building on proven tools – rooted in science and data – that have been honed over the past two years, we remain vigilant with a focus on ongoing preparation, awareness and flexibility to adapt to the evolution of the pandemic. As we have done throughout the pandemic, the state will continue to apply the lessons we have learned about the virus to move California forward. »

The main pillars and preparedness actions of the SMARTER plan focus on vital public health measures and strategies the state has employed to slow the spread and protect Californians. Recognizing that each variant brings with it unique characteristics relative to the specific conditions of our neighborhoods and communities, the plan preserves necessary flexibility and ensures that the state has the resources and capabilities in place to address the COVID-19 challenges facing us. wait :

• Injections – Vaccines are the most powerful weapon against hospitalization and serious illness. Under this plan, California will maintain its ability to administer at least 200,000 vaccines per day in addition to existing pharmacy and provider infrastructure.

• Masks – Properly worn masks with good filtration help slow the spread of COVID-19 or other respiratory viruses. The state will maintain a stockpile of 75 million high-quality masks and the ability to distribute them as needed.

• Awareness – The state will continue to stay abreast of the spread of COVID-19 and evolving variants, communicate clearly about how people should protect themselves, and coordinate state and local government response . California will maintain its ability to promote vaccination, masking and other mitigation measures in all 58 counties and support engagement with at least 150 community organizations.

• Preparedness – COVID-19 is not going away and the need to be ready with the tools, resources and supplies that will allow the state to respond quickly to protect public health and keep the healthcare system well. prepared remains. The state will maintain sewage monitoring in all regions and improve respiratory monitoring in the health care system while continuing to sequence at least 10% of positive COVID-19 test samples. The state will also maintain the ability to add 3,000 clinical staff within 2-3 weeks as needed and in various types of health care facilities.

• Tests – Get the right kind of tests – PCR or antigen – where they’re needed most. Testing will help California minimize the spread of COVID-19. California will maintain commercial and local public health capacity statewide to perform at least 500,000 tests per day – a combination of PCR and antigen.

• Education – California will continue to work to keep schools open and children safe in classrooms for in-person instruction. The state will expand state-supported school vaccination sites by 25% to increase vaccination rates as eligibility increases.

• Rx – Evolution and improvement of treatments will become increasingly available and critical as a tool to save lives. The state will maximize orders for the most clinically effective treatments available through federal partnerships, ensuring that allocations of effective treatments are ordered within 48 hours.

The SMARTER plan maintains the state’s focus on targeted investments and awareness to address health disparities related to COVID-19 in disproportionately affected communities. The plan includes a new COVID-19 Assessment and Response Unit to monitor frontline data and conditions in real time. This also includes leveraging a strong regional sewage monitoring and genome sequencing network to gain early and rapid insight into the changing nature of the virus and early identification of variants.

In collaboration with external partners and the federal government, California will launch the first nationwide COVID-19 Longitudinal Cohort Impacts Study to examine the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on individuals and communities over time. As part of the plan, the state is pursuing a public-private partnership with a test manufacturer to reduce home testing costs while ensuring a reliable and timely supply chain for California. The state will also continue to take steps to ensure that our health care facilities can continue to staff and resource additional staff to respond to potential surges while minimizing strain on our health care systems.

“California is ready to build on the principles that have made us successful in our response to COVID-19. As part of the SMARTER plan, we will use the important knowledge we have gained and the tools and resources we have developed over the past two years to adapt and respond to whatever comes next,” said the secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, Dr. Mark Ghaly. “California people need to be assured that we are ready and prepared for any public health challenges that may lie ahead.”

Since the start of the pandemic, California has led the national fight against COVID-19 with early and robust public health measures that have saved tens of thousands of lives, helping maintain one of the highest death rates. lowest among large states. California’s pandemic response to date has administered over 70 million COVID-19 vaccines; distributed more than 870 million N-95s and surgical masks; deployed more than 28,000 state-supported personnel to support health care facilities; and administered more than 140 million COVID-19 tests, distributed 33 million COVID-19 home antigen tests, and established more than 7,500 testing sites statewide. The state has also significantly reduced disparities in infection and death rates in disproportionately affected communities through equity-focused immunization and outreach testing and culturally competent engagement and information.

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