SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California is tossing its tiered reopening Blueprint and bringing in a new plan as millions of residents get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday announced that the state will “fully open its economy” on June 15 if the following two criteria are met:
- If vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated
- If hospitalization rates are stable and low
This means “everyday activities will be allowed and businesses can open with common-sense risk reduction measures.”
These measures still include face mask mandates to prevent spread of COVID-19, an airborne disease that can be transmitted through infectious droplets when someone breathes, speaks, shouts or sings.
Rather than a regional reopening as seen with the state’s original blueprint, officials say the enter state will move into this new phase together.
State officials said they will continue contact tracing and testing, as well as monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access and vaccine efficacy against variants, with the option to revisit the June 15 date if needed.
As of the announcement, the state said they have administered more than 20 million vaccine doses. Hospitalizations are also declining.
“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,” Newsom said.
The state said large-scale indoor events, such as conventions, will be allowed with testing or vaccination verification requirements.
“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 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.”
The state said all sectors can return to usual operations in compliance with Cal/OSHA requirements in addition to keeping public health policies in place.
“California is able to reopen fully and safely because of our commitment to the equitable distribution of vaccines,” the state said.
By April 15, all Californians who are 16 years and older will be able to book an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the state, “Equity continues to be the focus of our vaccine efforts, especially as we prepare to fully reopen.”