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Thursday marked end of COVID emergency

Ridgecrest Hospital– As of Thursday, May 11, the federal Public Health Emergency for COVID has officially ended — signaling the end of an era that began to wind down when California declared an end on Feb. 28, discontinuing the various policies and restrictions put in place in March 2020.

“My goal is to never have to talk about COVID again,” said Brenda Diel, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (RRH)quality administrator and “COVID tzar” during the long period of transmission prevention and reporting.

“We have seen that many people have already started to get back on track with their personal healthcare checkups — taking care of chronic issues, coming in for anything like cancer screenings that were delayed during the height of the pandemic.”

In addition to routine care, Diel noted that the wildflower “super bloom” has triggered allergy- and respiratory-related conditions for many people. She encouraged residents to check in with their primary-care providers if they have any concerns.

“We also know that there are far more social and mental wellness issues after this long period of isolation,” said Diel.

“Go out and enjoy your families, enjoy your friends, enjoy your hobbies — don’t be afraid. We don’t have restrictions anymore, so the best way to ‘return to normal’ is go back to whatever routines that you missed during the pandemic.”

RRH offers Mental Health (760-499-3863) and Community Outreach (760-499-3825) services for anyone looking for support on their health journey.

“Finding your joy is a critical part of being healthy and well,” said Diel.