LOS ANGELES — In an exclusive sit-down interview with "InFocus SoCal" host Tanya McRae, Gov. Gavin Newsom looks back at the pandemic's effect on California and its reopening, which he credits those who got vaccinated with making possible. 

"At the end of the day, the key is vaccinations," Newsom said. "It just is. If we didn't have the vaccination rates we do — 72-plus percent of adults in California have been vaccinated, one of the highest vaccination rates in the count — we wouldn't be here today."

The governor thanked those who helped "get us this far," including essential workers he has spent time with, most recently at MLK Community Healthcare.

"For these essential workers, you can't unsee what you've seen. I mean, the stories are just jaw-dropping," Newsom said. 

He recalled how people at the beginning of the pandemic were saying goodbye to their loved ones through nurses' cellphones. 

"The stories are just extraordinary, and you multiply that over and over and over and over and over," he said. "That's very impactful for ways that may not be felt for some time."

On Tuesday, a more exuberant and mask-less Newsom declared, "California has turned the page," from an outdoor stage at Universal Studios.

The state ended its rules on physical distancing and capacity limits at restaurants, bars, supermarkets, gyms, museums, amusement parks, stadiums and elsewhere.

Watch the full exclusive sit-down with Gov. Gavin Newsom at 9 a.m. and noon on June 27 on Spectrum News 1 and the Spectrum News app. Click on the arrow above for a preview.