Early mitigation efforts helping to slow COVID-19 spread in the West, David Witt, MD, tells Healthline

California’s aggressive COVID-19 mitigation efforts have made it something of a star among big states with population-dense cities, according to a recent story in Healthline.

David Witt, MD, an infectious disease leader with The Permanente Medical Group and a regional health care epidemiologist with Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, told Healthline that social distancing and stay-at-home orders have proved effective in California and other western states.

“One of the most important things to underscore is that California and Washington are experiencing something different than the rest of the country because of (their) early mitigation efforts,” Witt said.

Because of the California and Washington state orders issued on March 19 and March 23, respectively, Dr. Witt added, “we’re seeing a leveling off of cases in hospitals and outpatient settings. This means that in some places, such as Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, we are managing to slow the spread of the virus.”

The story notes that while California is now mulling a framework for getting people back to work, premature relaxation of interventions might lead to a surge of COVID-19 cases again along with the seasonal flu in the fall. As a result, other states seeking to follow California’s lead should be extra vigilant, Dr. Witt said.

“Everyone needs to double down on the social distancing and shelter in place,” he said. “As we can see from the decline in cases in California, Washington, and Oregon, that decision to move early and take it seriously has made all the difference.”

To read the entire article, visit the Healthline site.