As California COVID-19 metrics improve — the state now has the lowest positivity rate in the country — Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday announced plans to reopen the economy on June 15 if there is sufficient vaccine supply for residents 16 years and older and if hospitalization rates are stable and low.
The date is not set in stone as the state will monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access and vaccine efficacy against variants to determine whether the goal needs to be changed.
However, according to Newsom’s office, “Everyday activities will be allowed” but mask mandates will remain in place. The state will continue contact tracing and testing. Testing and vaccination verification requirements will also remain in certain settings.
“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,” Newsom said in a statement. “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 entire state will move into this new phase and away from the current four-tiered reopening blueprint.
All sectors listed in the current four-tiered grid can “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,” officials said in a statement. “Large-scale indoor events, such as conventions, will be allowed to occur with testing or vaccination verification requirements.”
The announcement came as the state reached a total of 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered to Californians in some of the state’s hardest-hit communities, less than a month after delivering 2 million doses to these communities.