California adopts nation’s 1st ‘endemic’ virus policy:
Gov. Gavin Newsom, right, walks through rows of boxed Personal protective equipment, PPE, with dignitaries and elected officials. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register/SCNG via AP)
California Governor Gavin Newson announced on Thursday that his state will be the first US state to formally recognize the coronavirus as an endemic. A disease being endemic means that it is still present in the population, but is made manageable by building immunity. The state is planning to shift towards a more normal existence by setting plans in place which emphasize prevention and quick reaction to potential outbreaks. Republicans have been critical of this with State GOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson calling this move “an extra-large helping of word salad,” though Newsom’s plan does have specific goals set. The plan calls for a stockpiling of 75 million masks and establishing the infrastructure to provide 200,000 vaccines, 500,000 COVID-19 tests per day, and an additional 3,000 medical workers in areas where the virus is surging. This combined with plans to better monitor the virus and keep the public informed regarding ever-evolving precautions will cost the state billions of dollars while being a slow and arduous process.