As California surpasses a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19 -- administering more than 20 million vaccine doses, including 4 million in the state’s hardest-hit communities, and with hospitalizations continuing to steadily decline -- Gov. Gavin Newsom has outlined the state’s next step in the recovery from the pandemic.
In a news release on April 6, Newsom announced that on June 15, California will fully open 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.
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.
“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.”
“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.”