April 6, 2021 at 11:58 am PDT | by Brody Levesque
Newsom says state will fully reopen June 15
California Governor Gavin Newsom. (Blade file photo)

SACRAMENTO – California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that as the state has surpassed a major milestone in the fight against COVID — administering more than 20 million vaccine doses, including 4 million in the state’s hardest-hit communities, officials intend to fully reopen on June 15.

Newsom noted that including alongside the ongoing vaccination efforts and with hospitalizations continuing to steadily decline, California will fully reopen its economy if two criteria are met:

If vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated; and if hospitalization rates are stable and low.

“With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our tier system and begin looking to fully reopen California’s economy,” said Newsom. “We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic. We will need to remain vigilant, and continue the practices that got us here – wearing masks and getting vaccinated – but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter.”

The governor pointed out that \everyday activities will be allowed and businesses can open with common-sense risk reduction measures, including encouraging all Californians to get vaccinated and mandating masking, to prevent illness and promote health. 

The state will continue contact tracing and testing to detect cases early and contain spread of the virus. The entire state will move into this new phase as a whole. The state will monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access and vaccine efficacy against variants, with the option to revisit the June 15 date if needed.

“California has made incredible progress controlling the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, masking, and getting vaccines out quickly to Californians in every corner of the state, including in those communities hardest hit by this pandemic,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “In order to take the next step, we must continue to do our part to keep this momentum moving in the right direction, and that means continuing to wear a mask and ensuring everyone who is eligible gets the vaccine.”

Ghaly also pointed out that the state continues its plan for the vaccination of residents under 16 years of age, alongside protection against new variants and continued tracking and containment of spread. The state stands ready to mobilize additional resources if there is an increase in cases, the Secretary noted.

When California fully reopens the economy, the Blueprint for a Safer Economy will end the Newsom’s office stated. However, common-sense health measures such as masking will remain across the state. Testing or vaccination verification requirements will remain in relevant settings.

All sectors listed in the current Blueprint for a Safer Economy grid may return to usual operations in compliance with Cal/OSHA requirements and with common-sense public health policies in place, such as required masking, testing and with vaccinations encouraged. Large-scale indoor events, such as conventions, will be allowed to occur with testing or vaccination verification requirements.  

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