Headlines were recently made when it was announced that COVID-19 has been lowered from an emergency-level pandemic to a threat. But don’t start celebrating just yet.
“That does not mean COVID-19 is over as a global health threat,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The coronavirus is no longer as big of a threat as it was, but there’s still people dying from it every week. Thousands, in fact.
This isn’t just the data for COVID nation-wide. In Illinois, the emergency has ended, too. In fact, hospitals and counties will no longer have to report data for COVID-19, because the cases have gotten lower.
It’s important to note that the World Health Organization added that there’s still risks for new variants of the virus to crop up again. Before 2020, the U.S. was judged to be among the most prepared in the world for a global pandemic. Then, COVID-19 came, and America was one of the worst countries in terms of death tolls.
After May 5th, the day the change in emergency was announced, the White House released its new plan for the coronavirus going forward. Its made up of four main goals, including:
Continuing to protect and treat cases of COVID-19. The White House will work with Congress to make it so people of all ages can get vaccinated, we can keep manufacturing vaccines, and have resources available for younger kids to get vaccinated. Tell your little siblings!
The second goal is to prepare for new variants. The government is working on expanding their range of data for tracking new variants of COVID, including to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. They will also start to add at-home testing kits and masks to America’s stockpile.
Goal three is to prevent economic and educational shut-downs. As you might remember, at the beginning of the pandemic, TONS of schools and businesses shut down. The government is going to try and make it so schools and businesses have better access to updated ventilation, and workers can get paid sick leave or take care of relatives with COVID-19.
Finally, the fourth goal is to continue to get everyone around the world vaccinated. Not only is the U.S. preparing for our country’s future, but working with congress to deliver vaccines to other countries who need it.
You should check out the official link to the White House announcement for the full COVID plan. If there’s anything that’s clear from the recent news, it’s that COVID might not be an emergency anymore, but it’s still hanging around. Stay safe.
By Inti Navia, Senior, ChiArts
All Platforms: @intinavia
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