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California turning the corner on coronavirus pandemic

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Back on March 16, 2020, the Bay Area was the first region in the country to issue a shelter-in-place order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking back at the decision six months later…

“When this is written 100 years from now, everybody is going to remember that day that the 6 Bay Area counties plus the city of Berkeley locked things down,” Dr. George Rutherford said. “It stopped literally thousands of deaths.”

Although reducing the spread of the coronavirus is currently trending in the right direction in the golden state, Dr. George Rutherford, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of California San Francisco, says now is not the time to spike the football or do any celebrating at midfield.

“I mean you can pat yourself on the back a little bit. We clearly did a great job in March and April and into May,” Dr. Rutherford said. “It got a little away from us in June as you know”>

He is referring to the pandemic surging in the wake of the Memorial Day weekend. He cautions the return of that behavior could prompt another surge over the next six months which has some major holidays.

“We have a very clear example of how we can mess this up. Christmas parties. Halloween. Big Thanksgiving dinners. Obviously they are huge social things,” Dr. Rutherford said. “In general it’s not going to be a good idea to get out in mix with people who are not a part of your household.”

Dr. Rutherford, however, says it is a good idea to get the flu vaccine.

“Influenza is going to create some pressure on emergency departments, on hospitals and in intensive care,” he said. “If we can avoid that by having everybody get flu shots that will leave us much more room should we get a third wave of COVID.”

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