Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Fontana on Feb. 17 and held a media event to announce the next phase of Californiaâs response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newsom outlined the plan at a large state-operated warehouse storing personal protective equipment.
He said the stateâs “SMARTER” Plan will guide Californiaâs strategic approach to managing COVID-19 while moving the stateâs recovery forward.
Emphasizing continued readiness, awareness and flexibility, the plan would ensure California can maintain its focus on communities that continue to be disproportionately impacted, and stay prepared to swiftly and effectively respond to emerging COVID-19 variants and changing conditions, according to Newsom.
âAs we enter the next phase of the pandemic, the state is better equipped than ever to protect Californians from COVID-19 with smart strategies that save lives and advance our ongoing recovery,â Newsom said in a news release. âBuilding on proven tools â rooted in science and data â that have been honed over the past two years, weâre keeping our guard up with a focus on continued readiness, awareness and flexibility to adapt to the evolving pandemic. As we have throughout the pandemic, the state will continue applying the lessons weâve learned about the virus to keep California moving forward.â
The state has seen a dramatic decline in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.Â As a result, the indoor mask mandate that had been in place at public places was lifted this week for fully vaccinated individuals.Â However, the mask mandate remains in place for public schools.
The SMARTER Planâs core pillars and preparedness metrics focus on lifesaving public health measures and strategies the state has successfully used to slow the spread and protect Californians, the news release said. Recognizing that each variant brings with it unique characteristics relative to the specific conditions in our neighborhoods and communities, the plan preserves needed flexibility and ensures the state has the resources and capabilities in place to tackle the COVID-19 challenges that lie ahead:
â¢ Shots â 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.
â¢ Masks â 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.
â¢ Awareness â The state 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.
â¢ Readiness â COVID-19 isnât going away and the state needs to be ready with the tools, resources and supplies that will allow the state 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.
â¢ Testing â Getting the right type of tests â PCR or antigen â 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 â a combination of PCR and antigen.
â¢ Education â 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.
â¢ Rx â 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.