The current projections for COVID-19 coronavirus infections in California look hopeful. We track this using the IHME model.
As of mid-February 2022, it appears that infections are likely to be back to the levels seen in the fall of 2021 by mid to late March 2022.
Other sources of information mirror this prediction. For example, Covid in sewage tends to mirror the percent of actively infectious cases in the population, and is a better source of data than Covid testing results since many people now use home kits.
With this in mind, we are considering returning to seeing some patients in person in our three offices around early April.
The big unknown, at this point, is how much of a drop there will be in protection from the vaccine over time.
In early February 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that protection from a third jab of the covid-19 vaccine waned after several months. Effectiveness against hospitalisation fell from 91% after two months of receiving a booster to 78% by the fourth month. Separately, regulators said they would need more time to consider whether to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged five and under.
We will definitely not be seeing all patients in person and how many will likely depend on patient preference, clinical need, and data about the risk of infection. Until then, all appointments will continue to be via telehealth.
We have been monitoring the news from the CDC and the American Medical Association and will continue to do so.
Here at Gateway we have been making some plans. We will be focusing on ensuring that we test for signs and symptoms of infection before seeing patients in person, increased air flow and air filtration in all the rooms, and testing and vaccination of all clinical staff.