By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Time to end health emergency, says public health

Public health is recommending that Stanislaus County end the local health emergency as cases of COVID-19 continue to decrease.

According to the Stanislaus County Public Health Department, the county is recovering from the Omicron surge, with COVID‐19 cases decreasing and COVID‐19 related hospitalizations also decreasing, easing the strain on local hospitals.

“While the pandemic is not over, the emergency phase of the pandemic is waning. As such, Stanislaus County Public Health recommends the Board of Supervisors end the declaration of a local health emergency,” the department stated in a press release on Friday.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to consider the recommendation at their March 8 meeting.

Despite the recommendation, the health department stated that rescinding the declaration of a health emergency does not signify the end of the potential threat posed to the community from COVID‐19.

“Public health strongly recommends community members to continue following all federal, state, and local recommendations and check with their healthcare provider to assess their risks, and to learn about prevention and treatment options,” stated the health department.

The declaration of local health emergency enabled Public Health and various city and county departments and the State to respond locally to the pandemic and protect the local health care infrastructure. Employees from various departments and external organizations assisted with logistics, data entry and analytics, vaccine, testing, and treatments, public information, and planning.

Since March 11, 2020, Stanislaus County has seen 118, 997 positive cases (16,937 probable cases), 1,676 deaths and 5,025 hospitalized. Turlock has recorded 15,317 positive cases (2,281 probable cases) and 242 deaths.

“Public Health will continue to work with hospitals and other healthcare providers, schools and businesses to monitor outbreaks and mitigate their effect on those organizations. Community members now also have wide access to testing, vaccines, and treatments through their health care providers, community clinics, and/or pharmacies,” stated the public health department.

On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom joined the governors of Oregon and Washington to announce that the states would be strongly recommending masking in schools instead of mandating it.

California's next phase in fighting COVID-19 is the SMARTER Plan.

SMARTER stands for:

• Shots – Vaccines are the most powerful weapon against hospitalization and serious illness.

• Masks – Properly worn masks with good filtration help slow the spread of COVID-19 or other respiratory viruses.

• Awareness – We will continue to stay aware of how COVID-19 is spreading, evolving variants, communicate clearly how people should protect themselves, and coordinate our state and local government response.

• Readiness – COVID-19 is not going away and we need to be ready with the tools, resources and supplies we will need to quickly respond and keep public health and the healthcare system well prepared.

• 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.

• Education – California will continue to work to keep schools open and children safely in classrooms for in-person instruction.

• Rx – Evolving and improving treatments will become increasingly available and critical as a tool to save lives.