As of the end of May 2020, 18 states including California were still experiencing a moderate increase in the number of new cases of COVID-19 infections. About a dozen states in the country appeared to have reached a plateau in new cases. The remaining states were experiencing notable increases in the number of new cases of COVID-19 infection. The bottom line associated with these three types of trends is that as of the end of May, the United States (and much of the world, for that matter) remained in what oftentimes is called the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Infectious disease experts from around the world are making it known that a second COVID-19 wave is a definite possibility.

What Is Meant by a Second COVID-18 Wave?

The World Health Organization, or WHO, explained that in the case of pandemics like that involving the novel coronavirus a second wave of infection spreading “classically” occurs some months after the first wave substantially subsides. At the end of May, WHO announced that the prospect exists that this type of second wave very well may occur for some countries around the world. In other words, for some countries, it is likely that a more extended period of time may pass before a second wave occurs (if a second wave does in fact happen).

The WHO did have an additional warning in regard to a COVID-19 second wave. The WHO announced that a rapidly occurring second wave may be possible in some countries and in some regions. The agency defined a rapidly occurring second wave as one that occurs in a matter of weeks rather than months following the plateau of the first COVID-19 wave. 

At this juncture in time, infectious disease experts with backgrounds in pandemics like COVID-19 maintain that the primary cause of a rapid second wave is apt to be a city, state, or region “opening up to quickly.” Opening up too quickly essentially is described as the rapid abandonment for the restrictions and directives that previously were put in place as a means of lowering the rate of spread of COVID-19. 

When Will a Second COVID-19 Wave Hit California?

There is no absolute certainty that California will experience a second COVID-19 wave. With that said, if a second wave were to occur, the timing of it at this juncture is connected to the rate at which the state “opens” more than anything else, according to infectious disease experts who study pandemics.

As of May, the Governor of California and state health officials have laid out an overall reopening plan that fairly can be described as “slow-paced.” In other words, state leadership from the Governor to health officials are plotting a slow reopening course with a key objective of avoiding a second wave altogether or minimizing the reach and scope of such a wave if it happens to occur. 

Why Will a Second COVID-19 Wave Occur?

The overall consensus is that a second COVID-19 wave will occur sooner rather than later if a state, city, or region opens too quickly following the stay at home period. A rapid reopening tends to include an abandonment by a large swath of people to strategies that are either ordered of recommended, include social distancing and facemasks.

A second wave is possible some months down the road even if a jurisdiction reopens slowly. There are a number of reasons why this can occur, including individuals becoming lax with practices like social distancing and the wearing of facemasks in certain situations.

What Can Be Done to Lower the Risk of a Significant Second COVID-19 Wave in California?

There are some crucial tactics that infectious disease experts currently maintain need to be followed, whether a jurisdiction is opening rapidly or slowly. These include:

  • Continuing social distancing practices. When outside of a home, perhaps until a vaccine is available, people need to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet.
  • Continuing the wearing of masks in public settings.
  • Widespread testing to identify people with active COVID-19 infection as well as individuals who appear to have developed antibodies to the virus.
  • Tracing of infection chains to identify “who infected who.”

In addition to these tactics, businesses of all types, churches, schools, theatres, and any other venue at which members of the public frequent, will need to craft and implement comprehensive strategies to proactively reduce the risk of COVID-19 contamination. In addition, these entities and enterprises will need to have in place specific protocols to ensure a rapid remediation response if coronavirus contamination is suspected. 

At the heart of these vital efforts to stave of the prospect of a second COVID-19 wave is a partnership between these businesses and other enterprises and an experienced coronavirus cleaning and sanitization company. When it comes to preventing or minimizing the impact of a second COVD-19 wave, professional contamination prevention and remediation is a major component of a comprehensive community strategy.