Sacramento, Calif. ( Associated Press) — California has no plans to impose new statewide pandemic restrictions despite a surge in coronavirus cases, mainly because of the new highly permeable Omron version BA.2, the state’s top health official says.
The most populous state has seen “some slow but noticeable increases in our case rates” over the past 10 days, said Dr. Mark Galley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. California’s slow growth is in contrast to some other parts of the country, particularly the Northeast.
Philadelphia this week became the first major US city to reinstate an indoor mask mandate, Confirmed cases increased by more than 50% in 10 days and the city’s health commissioner said she wanted to intervene to stem the wave of hospitalizations and deaths.
“In California, we haven’t seen a city or a county increase in that kind of case rate yet,” Ghali told the Associated Press on Thursday, adding that he saw no sign that local officials were taking their approach. planned to harden. Local officials can move more aggressively than the state can if they wish, and some have done so during previous waves.
California lifted its mask mandate in mid-February but Los Angeles County waited more than two weeks. And it was only two weeks ago that the City of Los Angeles ended its mandate for operators of many indoor businesses and large outdoor events to verify that customers have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
In L.A. County, where nearly a quarter of California’s population is 40 million, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday that cases are rising and she expects students to return to school after the spring break. But he is confident that health workers and facilities are prepared for any influx of seriously ill patients.
“Part of responding appropriately is making sure we are always prepared for situations that may require additional protection and mitigation strategies,” Ferrer said.
In mid-February, California became the first state to formally adopt the “endemic” approach. to coronavirus. The plan emphasizes on outbreak prevention and quick response to mandatory masking and business closures.
“California is focused on encouraging and encouraging individuals to get vaccinated, wear masks where appropriate and take other precautions to “make good, thoughtful personal decisions to protect themselves,” Galli said.
“This is a persistent, fast-moving situation, as it has been in the last two years, and that is what we are seeing. But at this point in time, there has really been no change in our mitigation approach across the state,” said Ghali he said.
Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Southern California, said California’s more personalized response reflects the progress it has made since the start of the pandemic two years ago, prompting Governor Gavin Newsom to implement the nation’s first statewide migration. Driven to- order at home.
“We have a variety of instruments in 2022 that we didn’t have in 2020, so it makes sense to take a different approach,” Klausner said, aiming for “more surgical use of our instruments rather than blunt instruments like ours.” Have to use” are in 2020.”
The BA.2 subvariant has become the dominant strain in the United States and California in recent weeks, after already spreading rapidly in Europe and Asia. California continues to ease precautions even as the threat of a new wave rises.
On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration was delayed by at least a year His First Nation plan to require all school children to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Earlier this month California health officials dropped a recommendation That people are exposed to COVID-19 to isolate themselves for at least five days, even if they have no symptoms.
This is because the virus has evolved for a short incubation period of only two to three days, and it is usually possible for people to isolate and infect others until they learn they may have been exposed to someone with the virus. I am too late.
They also eased the need for California For those attending indoor events with more than 1,000 people, for proof of vaccine validation or negative tests, this is a “strong recommendation”.
So far public health officials have not had to trigger requirements into the state’s spatial plan to flood resources in outbreak areas, Ghali said, because there are plenty of virus tests, testing sites, masks and other supplies across the state.
COVID-19 hospitalization Intensive care patients are at their lowest level since the start of the pandemic and allow hospitals to reduce their use of temporary medical staff that were so critical during earlier waves.
“Hospitals are in very good shape to manage some of the increase in caseloads from COVID,” Ghaly said.
About 75% of Californians are thought to be fully vaccinated, which health officials said is the best way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death, even with widespread breakthrough infection from recent variants.
Associated Press writer Christopher Weber contributed to this story from Los Angeles.