COVID-19 pandemic becoming endemic

SEATTLE — Despite a massive global effort to fight COVID-19, it’s likely the virus is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean the pandemic will stay with it.

Researchers at the University of Washington say we are entering a new phase with COVID-19, one that we’ll need to learn to live with.

“I foresee that COVID-19 will become a seasonal virus and that you and I will need to take a shot before the season,” says Doctor Ali Mokdad with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

“We believe the Pandemic phase of COVID-19 is gone and we are heading into an endemic phase.”

That means just like the flu season, we will have COVID-19 season.

He also says a guidance system will need to be put into place much like for hurricanes that will help people gauge whether or not they need to take precautions like mask mandates and social distancing.

Dr. Mokdad says the number of daily admissions to local hospitals is one of the best metrics for this, “If it is below [a certain] number we’re in a good position. If it is above this number we need to regroup and put some mandates back in place.”

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