California Gov. Gavin Newsom has targeted a date of June 15 for fully reopening the state's economy. Fully reopening California's economy will be dependent on whether vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 and older who wish to be inoculated, and if hospitalizations rates remain stable and low.
The state surpassed a major milestone in the fight against the pandemic, by administering more than 20 million vaccine doses, including 4 million in its hardest-hit communities. Newsom was in San Francisco Tuesday to outline the state's next steps in the COVID-19 pandemic recovery effort.
“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 Gov. 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.”
Next steps will see California moving beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy roadmap and its color-coded tier system. Once the economy is full reopened, 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.
The state will maintain contact tracing and testing efforts in order to detect cases early and contain spread of the virus.
Should the criteria laid out by the governor be met, the entire state will move into this new phase. Hospitalization rates, vaccine access and efficacy against variants will be monitored, with the option to revisit the June 15 target date, should metrics start trending the other way.
“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 CHHS 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.”
Once the Blueprint for a Safer Economy has ended, common-sense health measures will remain in place.
A statement released by the governor's office read in part:
"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."
Los Angeles County and Orange County are currently in the orange tier of the state's reopening roadmap.