Long COVID in California: ‘A pandemic of loneliness and social isolation and rejection’
Recent CDC surveys suggest 5.5% of California adults — roughly 1.5 million people — currently experience the ill-defined, mysterious and often debilitating collection of symptoms that make up long COVID. Officials with the California Department of Public Health plan to create a new COVID-19 Control Branch to monitor variants and outbreaks and support long COVID research, said State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan. The department is using some money from last year as well as seed money from the state’s $1.8 billion long-term COVID-19 preparedness plan to open the branch. However, proposed budget cuts make ongoing funding uncertain.