COVID-19 Far From Over, Panel Agrees

by Lilo H. Stainton, Health Care Writer, NJ Spotlight News

This story is being republished under a special NJ News Commons content-sharing agreement related to COVID-19 coverage. Link to FULL story: njspotlightnews.org/2022/03/nj-spotlight-news-roundtable-health-care-experts-living-with-covid-pandemic-endemic

It’s too soon to consider COVID-19 an endemic disease in New Jersey, and misinformation about the coronavirus and our options for protection continue to put people’s lives at risk.

That was the consensus among the four health care professionals who joined NJ Spotlight News on March 16 for a virtual roundtable, “Living with COVID: from Pandemic to Endemic.” The panelists included Dr. Eddy Bresnitz, a former state epidemiologist; Dr. John Bonamo, executive vice president with RWJBarnabas Health; Dr. Denise Rodgers, a vice chancellor at Rutgers University, and Camden City School District nurse Robin Cogan.

The conversation—preceded by a short keynote address by Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute—also touched on the COVID-19 response in public schools, where masks are no longer required, and the state’s ability to monitor the viral spread. Panelists discussed how COVID-19 treatment has vastly improved over two years, while accessing the latest options remains a challenge, and how it is too soon to know if we will need another booster dose of vaccine this year.

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