Virtual Town Hall Nov 1: COVID, What Now

Dear Constituent,

As the holidays approach and we make plans with family and friends, I thought it would be a good time to hold a virtual town hall on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and how we can safely navigate the months ahead. The town hall, “COVID: What Now?” will be held on Tuesday, November 1, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., and will feature:

  • Dr. Erica Pan, state epidemiologist, California Department of Public Health
  • Dr. Robert Wachter, chair, UC San Francisco Department of Medicine

You can watch the virtual town hall on my Senate website. And if you would like to submit a question in advance to our panelists, you can do so here. The deadline to submit questions is Oct. 31 at 5 p.m.

With hospitalization and death rates falling in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced recently that he plans to end California’s COVID-19 State of Emergency on Feb. 28, 2023, depending on the severity of this winter’s expected surge.

That’s welcome news. It’s been a very long 31 months. But it’s also true that California’s proactive approach to the pandemic since March 2020 has been effective. To date, our state has the lowest death rate of any large state nationwide.

But with the COVID virus developing many new variants, and flu and cold season upon us, you may be wondering what’s the best approach to this new pandemic reality. During the town hall our experts will address such questions as:

  • Is it safe to enjoy eating indoors at restaurants?
  • Should I still wear a mask on public transit or while shopping?
  • What about masks in large, indoor gatherings?
  • How do I plan for a safe holiday season?
  • How can I avoid long COVID?

We’ll also discuss some new trends, including the spread of new omicron subvariants, the effectiveness of current treatments for the new subvariants, and the effectiveness of the new COVID bivalent booster shots. And we’ll ask our panel questions you submit, which you can do so here, no later than Monday, Oct. 31 by 5 p.m.

Finally, we’ll address some of the changes to expect in January, such as:

  • Ending free distribution of tests, vaccines, and treatments
  • Expiration of the state’s COVID sick leave program

I look forward to you joining our “COVID: What Now?” virtual town hall by logging onto my Senate website on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 5:30-6:30 p.m.



Nancy Skinner
State Senator, District