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CDC ends Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 and what that means for the Central Coast

CENTRAL COAST, CALIF. (KION-TV)- The CDC officially ended its public health emergency today for COVID-19.

Tools for the virus, like vaccines and testing, will still be available, but according to the Health Officer of San Benito County and Deputy Health Officer of Santa Cruz County, David Ghilarducci, the fight against COVID-19 is not over just yet.

“It doesn't mean that COVID itself is gone,” Ghilarducci said. “In fact, COVID continues to kill about 1000 people a day in the United States. So it's still a significant disease, but it certainly has changed. And that's what this end of the emergency declaration means.”

Even with the emergency ending, it’s still recommended people maintain awareness.

“They need to make an individual risk assessment for themselves and decide how much they are at risk for the consequences of this disease and take precautions that they feel are appropriate,” Ghilarducci said.

Although this is recommended, some people want to return to how things were before the virus shut the world down.

Others, on the other hand, like Vanessa from Salinas, will stay cautious since some other major diseases like covid lasted a while. 

“They're crazy,” Vanessa said. “It's just like when they had what it is, the Spanish flu. And it didn't la… It was for a couple of years.”

Because of her experience, Vanessa thinks the emergency should be extended a little longer.

“A lot of people I know, they still get COVID. Their friends get COVID, and nurses still get COVID,” Vanessa said. “So COVID’s still around. So I don't think they should have done it. Maybe a couple of more years. It’s only like four years.”

Ghilarducci also mentioned that health offices would be more prepared for other diseases like the flu since COVID took over so much of these past three years.

On that same note, health experts are predicting another flu outbreak at some point. It’s not a matter of if it happens but when it’ll happen.

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Karl Cooke

Karl Cooke is a Multimedia Journalist for KION News Channel 46


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