California's Plan Of Action Against COVID-19 Needs To Be Guided By Data

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Since early March, COVID-19 has spread throughout the United States. This caused epidemics in major cities like New York City, New Orleans, and Detroit.

Now in April, many of the outbreaks have increased and peaked in certain areas have now hit a decline. And despite worst fears, coronavirus has not spread into the general population.

As of April 10, there were only 475,000 cases and 17,000 deaths reported in the U.S. California, at the time, had about 20,000 cases and 550 deaths.

This equals out to for evert 51 cases, there was 1.4 deaths per 100,000 residents in California. The state is also ranked 30th, with a death that is about 1/4 of the national rate.

Within California, the coronavirus risk varies based by county. Around 90% of the cases and death have occurred in 14 mostly urban counties, specifically Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, and Riverside counties. In the other 44 remaining counties, which are known as the mostly rural and vastly less populated areas, make up for less than half of the overall California rates and are among the lowest in the entire U.S.

Since the beginning of April, new cases have increased likely due to more testing being available rather than increased transmission. California hospital systems have been preparing for weeks. There's been an increase in coronavirus admissions and cases in the ICU.

California's system capacity to acknowledge to manages these cases have been quite adequate.

The number of coronavirus deaths have been much less than the 750 deaths that occur everyday in California. This proves that these is evidence that there have been substantial reductions in the deaths due to seasonal flu, pneumonia and accidents because of the almost exclusive focus on COVID-19 and the current statewide lockdown.

This makes it possible that there is no increase in the normal number of total daily deaths. Given that the whole state is on lockdown, the government should asses the overall mortality statistics.

A lot of the government's actions towards stopping the spread of COVID-19 have been based on statistical models, which have been proven to be far less what the actual numbers in California actually have turned out to be.

This prolonged statewide shelter-at-home approach has actually caused more damage than ease. The government has justified their choices in the absence of data and spread fear within the general population.

There should be more focus on improving California's response to an epidemic, increase testing and emphasize lower-cost personal behavior changes such as staying at home for work or school if ill, covering coughs or sneezes, avoiding those currently with respiratory symptoms and handwashing.

Overall, California's o response must be data-driven and not fueled by panic. We must use the data available to support an updated approach rather than continuing stay-at-home orders.

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