Newsom says California will 'fully reopen' on June 15

Newsom says California will 'fully reopen' on June 15”

"We are announcing today that on June 15, we will be moving beyond the blueprint and we will be getting rid of the colored tiers".

California has had one of highest numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths among USA states, despite a harsh year-long lockdown that killed thousands of businesses and ruined millions of lives in the process.

Ghaly stressed, however, that a statewide mask mandate will remain in place "to prevent illness and promote health".

If hospitalization rates remain stable, and the vaccine distribution continues on schedule, Governor Gavin Newsom says the state will fully reopen in mid-June.

If these are met, "everyday activities will be allowed and businesses can open with common-sense risk reduction measures".

Already receiving more than 2 million doses per week, Newsom said the June 15 sunset of the tier system is a signal that the vaccine supply chain will become even more robust in May.

Fully reopen does not mean that the governor will drop the mask requirement. California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly also cautioned that "we will take the necessary precautions" should the state see any "concerning rise in our hospitalizations", per the Los Angeles Times. About 70% of older Californians have received at least one dose of the vaccine and over 4 million doses have been administered in the state's hardest hit communities.

Despite the caveat that California would only lift the restrictions based on hospitalization and vaccination rates, officials could not say how they would assess that or what would constitute a good trajectory.

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"With all of that, we are at the stage where we're ready to consider the next aspect of our pandemic response, " Ghaly said.

Those who get sick after vaccination, he noted, seem to have less-severe illness and are less likely to end up in a hospital bed.

"We are seeing bright light at the end of the tunnel", Newsom said at a press conference.

Gavin Newsom said in a tweet that California has the lowest positivity rate in the country. That number is expected to increase, with Newsom anticipating that more than 30 million doses will have been administered by the end of the month.

In a memo outlining the transition, state public health officials said business sectors will be able to return to usual operations with "limited" public health restrictions.

"The population of 16-plus, among that population are those that defied all guidance and went to places like South Beach in Miami in crowds", she said.

Schools and institutions of higher education should conduct full-time, in-person instruction in compliance with state and federal health guidelines, the memo added.

Taxin reported from Orange County.

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