California announces roadmap to ending lock down

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Everyone has been wondering when things will get back to normal. Well, we now at least have somewhat of a roadmap as to what needs to happen for things to get back to normal from one state. California Governor Gavin Newsom outlined six key indicators for altering his stay-home mandate.

These include the following:

  1. Closely monitor and track potential cases
  2. Prevent infection of high-risk people
  3. Prepare hospitals to handle surges
  4. Develop therapeutics to meet demand
  5. Ensure schools, businesses and child-care facilities can support social distancing,
  6. Develop guidelines for when to ask Californians to stay home again if necessary

Those sound like pretty solid indicators to me and I like that they are developing guidelines for a second stay at home order just in case that becomes necessary.

Some of these indicators appear to already have been met. For example, California is handling cases pretty well when it comes to medical capacity. California has largely slowed down the spread and had relatively low growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

But they still will need to implement more widespread testing to get to be where they want to be when it comes to monitoring and tracking potential cases. Right now, it sounds like they are still trying to play catch-up with tests so they probably have a ways to go in that department.

And then when it comes to therapeutics, we are still waiting on a lot of studies and test results so there is no definitive timeline for that.

So these factors don’t answer the timeline question that many people want to know: when can they expect for things to go back to normal?

It still seems too early to provide any definitive answer on that because people just don’t know what is going to happen.

One thing that will help answer that question is when we have more widespread antibody testing and experts can then tell how widespread the disease truly is and how immunity works. Knowing those two things will be vital to getting back up to speed quickly and safely.

Newsom stated these antibody blood tests are “critical in terms of our capacity to make a determination about community spread and about immunity.”

I still don’t think we have a fully accurate picture of how widespread the transmission of coronavirus is and in some countries those estimations are off by a factor of 12X.

So it’s great to see a big state coming up with a roadmap for how to end the lockdowns and get the economy rolling again. Some of these can be accomplished in the near term like more widespread testing, but it looks like some of those conditions will be more long-term such as finding therapeutics to meet demand.

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