California Governor Gavin Newsom is holding a press conference this afternoon to discuss the next step in the state's pandemic planning, calling it the "endemic" blueprint. Speaking live from San Bernardino County, he is expected to address the SMARTER plan outlined by Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly and the metrics for the state's way out of the state of emergency. Dr. Ghaly said earlier that the state isn't looking at lockdowns or closures moving forward, but they may bring back the mask mandate at times, if necessary. This will be along with standard tools like indoor air quality improvements, testing, treatments, vaccines, and boosters.
More details on the SMARTER plan:
- Shots- Vaccines are the most powerful weapon against hospitalization and serious illness. Under the Plan, California will maintain capacity to administer at least 200,000 vaccines per day on top of 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 capability to distribute them as needed.
- Awareness- We will continue to stay aware of how COVID-19 is spreading and evolving variants, communicate clearly how people should protect themselves, and coordinate our state and local government response. California will maintain capability to promote vaccination, masking and other mitigation measures in all 58 counties and support engagement with at least 150 community-based organizations.
- Readiness- COVID-19 isn’t going away and we need to be ready with the tools, resources and supplies that will allow us to quickly respond to protect public health and to keep the health care system well prepared. The state will maintain wastewater surveillance in all regions and enhance respiratory surveillance in the health care system while continuing to sequence at least 10 percent of positive COVID-19 test specimens. The state will also maintain the ability to add 3,000 clinical staff within 2-3 weeks of need and across various health care facility types.
- Testing- Getting the right type of tests - PCR or antigen - to where they are 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 safely in classrooms for in-person instruction. The state will expand by 25 percent school-based vaccination sites supported by the state to increase vaccination rates as eligibility expands.
- Rx- Evolving and improving treatments will become increasingly available and critical as a tool to save lives. The state will maximize orders for the most clinically effective therapeutic available through federal partnerships, ensuring allocations of effective therapeutics are ordered within 48-hours.