Governor Gavin Newsom announced the golden state’s COVID state of emergency will be ending in the early months of next year.
Starting February 28th of 2023, California will no longer be in a state of emergency regarding the COVID-19 virus.
I spoke with both Riverside County and local health officials on what steps they are taking to prepare for the change.
“We’re using this opportunity to really review our emergency operations plans, to revise them to debrief on what worked, what didn’t work, to plan for future type searches that we may have.” says Desert Care Network’s Chief Quality Officer, Christine Langenwalter.
Some local health officials see a light at the end of the tunnel.
“So I think it’s really allowing us the time to reflect on what we did just go through these past few years… and what did we learn from it… and what we take from that and move forward to make it better.”
Langenwalter says one major benefit was the networking and collaborating the valley hospitals had with one another.
Meanwhile, county health officials are echoing similar sentiments saying this move is a positive one.
“Right now, our cases are lower than perhaps what they had been at other points in the past where we’ve experienced, you know, higher levels of cases. Right now, we do have the tools to be able to address COVID-19, which is really important. We have vaccines, we have treatments or therapeutics, like antivirals, and we also have that built up infrastructure. So I think all of those things will help us to prepare as the state of emergency does come to an end.” says Dr. Jennifer Chevinsky, Riverside County’s public health officer.
In addition to having the tools, Dr. Chevinsky mentioned that over the course of the pandemic the county has been improving infrastructure.
Some of this includes testing capabilities, contact tracing, and treatment capabilities.
And she says, this infrastructure has better helped the county prepare for the end of California’s COVID state of emergency.
“At this point, we’re not anticipating any large changes to our operations” Dr. Chevinsky adds.
Both health care workers did mention that they do see a rise in COVID-19 cases during the holiday season. They advise valley residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19, and boosters if they have not received the additional shot.