CSAC Bulletin Article

State Endemic Plan Released

State Endemic Plan Released

The Governor released the state’s 30-page COVID-19 endemic plan, titled the “California S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Plan,” last week. CSAC leadership received a high-level summary briefing on the plan previously, and input from local health officers and directors on the plan’s specifics was not solicited.  

The California S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Plan includes the following components: 

  • Prioritizes keeping schools open
  • Increases commitment to tracking and surveillance
  • Increases commitment to access to therapeutics
  • Sustains most testing and lab resources (at least for 12 months)
  • No specific metrics for reimplementing safety measures
  • Outlines a new focus on improving indoor air quality
  • Continues cautious approach for high-risk groups and settings
  • Recommends continued masking in mixed indoor settings

The California S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Plan also includes sections on lessons learned, previous and ongoing state investments to combat the pandemic, and recommendations for cross-jurisdictional preparedness planning. See the full plan in PDF format here.  

State of Emergency

Both the state and federal government declarations of a public health emergency due to COVID-19 remain in place. President Biden extended the federal declaration this week, which will remain in effect for at least 90 days and possibly up to a year. This allows state to continue to postpone eligibility redeterminations for certain social services programs, and ensures continues federal assistance for COVID-19 activities. California Senate pro Tempore Toni Atkins indicated last week that California would begin examining next steps for the state’s public health emergency in late March.  

Masks

While the state mask mandate was lifted February 15, the state school mask order remains in effect until at least February 28, when the state will revisit whether to sustain or lift it.

For those who are interested, here is the explanation of the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. acronym:

S = Shots: vaccine equity, immunity data
M = Masks: ongoing recommendation – not order – to continue mask wearing in mixed indoor spaces
A = Awareness: surveillance (including wastewater), state/local coordination, communication, gathering long-term impacts of COVID including health, economic, and behavioral health impacts
R = Readiness: ongoing investments in public health infrastructure (such as Governor’s proposed $200M in ongoing funding for local health jurisdictions), preparation in high-risk settings, improve indoor air quality
T = Testing: ensuring access to timely testing and lab capacity
E = Education: prioritizing safe schools, outbreak guidance, and implementing safety measures when appropriate
R = Rx for treatment: utilizing therapeutics, smoothing testing to treatment time period, ensuring access to people in need
 

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