Monday, July 25, 2022

The Pandemic isn’t Over, but Most U.S. States Formally Say that it’s No Longer a Health Emergency; 'I'm over it.' Many in L.A. shrug off COVID-19 wave despite super-infectious subvariants, and other C-Virus related stories

Dustin Chambers for The New York Times
The pandemic isn’t over, but most U.S. states formally say that it’s no longer a health emergency:
When all 50 states, the District of Columbia and United States territories declared public health emergencies in response to the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, those declarations allowed state officials to lift limits on hospital capacity, expand access to telehealth services and even allow highway weight limits to be exceeded, in case the National Guard needed to quickly move in.
By Monday, fewer than a dozen states will have emergency declarations in place, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy. States have let the declarations expire even though the Omicron subvariant known as BA.5, perhaps the most transmissible coronavirus subvariant yet, is pushing up positive tests, hospitalizations and intensive care admissions across the country.
The wider latitude conferred by a state’s public health emergency, like making it easier for out-of-state medical providers to help with in-person and telehealth care and for retired health care workers to return to work, was critical to states’ responses to earlier waves of coronavirus cases.
But as Americans adjust to living with the virus, the country’s governors have increasingly had to justify the extension of such declarations to legislators who consider them an unnecessary use of executive power. On Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York said that she needed to extend her pandemic emergency powers into the fall in case serious disease and hospitalizations spike higher. --->READ MORE HERE
Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times
'I'm over it.' Many in L.A. shrug off COVID-19 wave despite super-infectious subvariants:
There was a time during the pandemic when the scene at Westfield Valencia Town Center in Santa Clarita would have evoked gasps and much scolding.
As summertime temperatures flirted with 100 degrees this week, families and teenagers crowded into the indoor mall, soothed by its air conditioning. But there was nary a mask in sight, even though coronavirus infections are skyrocketing because of the ultra-infectious Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.
Amid the carefree atmosphere, few seemed concerned.
"People are just exasperated and over it," said Hailey Jimenez, 21, who was working at a jewelry kiosk, unmasked. "I know I'm over it.
"I haven't really been paying attention too much to the numbers and all that, because I feel like it's just happening every couple of months: down, up, up, down, down."
Currently, the numbers are undoubtedly going up.
Officially, Los Angeles County has averaged 6,319 new coronavirus cases over the last week — nearly double the peak rate from last summer's Delta surge — though health officials caution that number is a dramatic undercount because many people either test at home or not at all if their symptoms are mild. --->READ MORE HERE
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