California officials will unveil Thursday a plan for coexisting with the coronavirus, which scientists say is likely to be around for the foreseeable future.
The plan presumes the most populous state is entering an endemic stage, where the virus still exists in a community but becomes manageable as immunity builds.
“The focus is going to be being prepared and being ready,” California’s health secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, said Monday in presaging the announcement.
“How do we continue to live with a virus that changes and kind of throws curveballs at different times?” he said, given that there is no guarantee the next variant won’t be more virulent.
The move comes a day after California lifted its latest indoor masking mandate and after officials said they would delay until Feb. 28 an announcement on when they will stop requiring masks in schools.
The schools announcement trails many other states in what Ghaly said is a sign of California's cautious approach.
It comes newly two years after Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, imposed the nation's first statewide stay-home order, temporarily crippling the state's economy in contrast to approaches in Republican states like Florida and Texas that took a more hands-off approach.