SAN FRANCISCO (CROWN) – Governor Newsom plans to announce the next phase of California’s COVID-19 response on Thursday.
According to officials, the comprehensive plan will emphasize “flexibility, awareness and preparedness when our state goes from responding to a pandemic to living with COVID-19.”
One focus of the plan is to keep schools and businesses open and secure, added officials.
The announcement comes after the state lifted indoor masking requirements for vaccinated people, with local governments having the power to continue their own indoor masking requirements.
All Bay Area counties except Santa Clara County lifted indoor mask mandates on February 15th.
“We look back on the last two years – what worked, what did not, what we have all learned on the journey we have been on together,” Newsom said during a news conference on February 9. the impact on people and businesses from California’s rules, regulations and requirements, he said.
The new approach, he said, “allows for the kind of flexibility in thinking that is incumbent on all of us when it comes to dealing with any endemic, especially one as stubborn … as COVID.”
It will still include quarantines, testing of those who show no symptoms and other precautions, but these precautions will vary based on what he said are more than a dozen “guide posts and measurements” designed to detect new increases and virus variants.
It will also include a continued emphasis on vaccinations and booster shots that can prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death, ”he said.
“We still have a lot of work to do to convince people that they still need to be vaccinated, let alone boosted,” he said.
Nearly 74% of Californians age 5 and up are fully vaccinated and a further nearly 9% are partially vaccinated. About 55% have received booster shots.
Another part of the approach will confront not only misinformation about the virus and vaccinations, but what he called “obvious misinformation that continues to be perpetuated … by individuals, organizations, networks in this country that continue to put people’s lives on game.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.