SACRAMENTO, Calif — California is one of five states that has a surgeon general. The role of the surgeon general is to advise the governor and help drive solutions to public health challenges.
As the state nears the end of the State of Emergency for COVID-19, political reporter Morgan Rynor sat down with Dr. Diana Ramos. In less than four months, California’s State of Emergency is set to end on Feb. 28.
“The decision was made after reviewing the data,” Dr. Ramos said.
However, it still begs the question as to whether the state ready to handle a potential surge after Feb. 28.
"We have to see where we're going to be at that point and so I think this lead time that we have between now and February will give us that ability and that cushion to reassess if necessary,” Ramos said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted earlier this month to recommend all children get the COVID-19 vaccine. Ramos said California will not require kids to get the vaccine to attend school right now.
"I think we already have made that decision," Ramos said, "Right now, the stance is no. What we are encouraging and recommending is that booster."
One of the other four state’s that has a surgeon general is Florida.
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Ladapo recommended against men aged 18 to 39 getting the COVID vaccine. He said it leads to an increased rate of cardiac arrest.
“I can't tell you what anything about what the Florida Surgeon General is saying, but what I can tell you is that here in California, we know that vaccines can make a difference," Ramos said. "We know that the boosters can make a difference.”
Some parents are concerned about RSV, which is a respiratory virus. Right now, hospitals across the country are seeing a rise.
“RSV is common right now during the winter months, and that's something that we are prepared for," she said. "It's not anything out of the ordinary. We now know as a community that washing our hands, and if we're sick, staying at home, makes a difference."
Dr. Ramos has also made mental health a top priority of hers.
“I'm Mexican American," she said. "In our Latino culture, we don't say depression, we say, 'Oh, she's nervous.' My mom would always say, 'Your aunt is nervous,' but that was anxiety.
The topic of microdosing to address mental health is becoming more popular as well. How does Ramos feel about it?
"Depending upon what the diagnosis is, it may include that, but I don't want to say that's going to be the medication that is going to be prescribed for a person because everybody is different," she said. "Everybody's personal health is different. There's some health conditions that may be a contraindication to them taking that medication, so that's why seeing your health care provider is critically important."