The State of California has always had forward-thinking governance, pioneering innovative efforts to fight COVID-19. Despite being hailed the “center” of COVID-19 spreads when the virus first swept through America, it achieved a substantial rating for COVID-19 transmission rates, being one of the first states to reduce cases in October of 2021.
California is one of the U.S. states with the highest vaccination drives, with 27.8 million of its citizens or 70.3% fully vaccinated. By November of 2021, it has also kickstarted its vaccination efforts for children ages five to 11, with 1 in 10 California kids receiving their first doses.
The State’s efforts to manage COVID-19 have only become bolder now during the reign of Omicron. Recognizing that COVID-19 may still be around in the foreseeable future, California has unveiled its innovative plans for managing and living with the virus.
SMARTER: California’s Plan for Living With COVID-19
While other States resume or drop mask mandates and are implementing strategies to curb the spread of COVID-19, California is the first to take an endemic approach that scraps mandates and instead puts focus on prevention and reaction.
California’s strategy is SMARTER:
- Shots - Increase vaccination rates and develop stronger programs for vaccinating citizens.
- Masks - Encourage mask-wearing in high-contact places. California has dropped indoor mask mandates for vaccinated individuals on February 16.
- Awareness - Provide reliable and accurate COVID-19 facts and updates to fight misinformation and communicate to citizens how they can protect themselves.
- Readiness - Boost surveillance and monitoring of COVID-19 cases to quickly identify and eradicate the first signs of a surge, as well as prepare public health officials and healthcare systems.
- Testing - Improve testing protocols and make testing solutions readily available.
- Education - Keep schools open to keep up with children’s educational requirements, while keeping them safe in face-to-face classroom settings.
- Rx - Stock up on medical supplies and prescription medications to treat COVID-19 symptoms and diseases, as well as provide virus surge areas with temporary medical workers.
California is the first to shift from a crisis mentality to a more forward-thinking endemic approach to living with COVID-19. According to California Governor Gavin Newsom, his administration understands that there’s not a moment when we can declare victory over the virus, but we can manage and live with it through adequate preparation and SMARTER strategies.