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San Diego officials focus on future of pandemic

Committee hears about plans for endemic
Posted at 12:10 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 15:10:51-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The San Diego City Council COVID-19 Response Committee began to focus on the future of the pandemic Monday.

In their monthly update meeting, the committee heard from Dr. Christian Ramers at Family Health Centers of San Diego. His presentation focused mostly on what the next few years will look like.

"This is the deadliest infectious disease in US history," Dr. Ramers said while noting that cases are rising again. "A lot of people (in my clinic) are coming in with their 2nd and 3rd and 4th round of COVID."

Dr. Ramers says that means local governments and health care systems need to start planning for long-term maintenance and care of the disease.

"The numbers are really not moving in the right direction," he says. "You can't call something endemic when it keeps swinging up and down like this, and you have something between 500 and 1000 new cases per day.

Ramers says the future fight against COVID will likely include yearly vaccines that are tailored to specific variants, like what the US currently does for the flu.

In the meantime, he calls Long-COVID a "tidal wave" on its way to decimate the healthcare system. People with Long COVID will need years of disability care. It will also have an impact on the workforce.

As part of the meeting, city council members called for a moment of silence to honor the 1 million Americans, as well as more than 5,200 San Diegans who have died from COVID.

Ramers called most of those deaths preventable. He says better therapeutics can help prevent more deaths in the future.