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California aims to ‘completely reopen’ economy by June 15

Buckhown Grill Patrons Dine Al fresco in Walnut Creek, CA | AP Photo

California will fully reopen its economy on June 15 as long as vaccinations remain widely available and hospitalizations remain stable, the governor and public health officials said on Tuesday.

“With over 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it’s time to turn the page on our tiering system and start looking to fully reopen the California economy,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. . “We can now start planning our lives after the pandemic.”

What does that mean: The eight-week march to reopen gives businesses and individuals who want to get vaccinated time to get vaccinated, Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said in a briefing Tuesday.

On April 15, California opens vaccinations to all people over the age of 16.

If hospitalization and vaccination measures are followed, daily activities will be allowed and businesses can open up with common sense risk reduction measures, he said. The state will monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access, and vaccine efficacy against the variants, with the option to revise the June 15 date if necessary.

“We are really signaling that the master plan, as it is designed now, will not be in effect after June 15,” said Ghaly.

What restrictions remain: The state’s mask mandate will continue to stand. No release date for this order has been announced.

Events in stadiums and other large venues will be allowed, Ghaly said, but conventions with more than 5,000 people will be banned without a requirement for vaccines or tests until October 1. Ghaly said the state is working on those directions with convention operators as well as operators of large multi-day events with indoor and outdoor activities. These events, such as music festivals, are not yet allowed to resume.

Context: At the end of August, the state unveiled the current reopening plan, the four-tier framework designed to give the state more control to slow the pace of the reopening as the state recovers from ‘a summer push. But the state then experienced a much larger surge during the winter months that created stress on the health care system and frustration among business owners. Since the start of this year, California has made a steady recovery and now has one of the lowest positivity rates in the country.

The fairness metric: California on Tuesday met its goal of delivering 4 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to the state’s most socio-economically disadvantaged areas, a goal that allows more counties to reopen businesses and develop ” increase the capacity of public spaces as part of Newsom’s reopening structure.

Earlier last month, the governor unveiled a new strategy to increase vaccine delivery in the hardest-hit communities in the state. The approach was based on dedicating 40% of the state’s vaccine supply to postcodes in the lower quartile of the state’s healthy places index. Once the state achieves certain goals, this would allow counties to move forward more quickly through the four-tier, color-coded state reopening plan.

In mid-March, the state hit its first target of 2 million doses, relaxing the daily case rate criteria that allowed counties to break out of the most restrictive level by dropping it from seven cases. per 100,000 inhabitants to 10 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. This made it easier for counties to exit the purple level and reopen businesses and activities licensed in the less restrictive levels.

Tuesday’s target of 4 million doses triggers case rates in the least restrictive levels, reducing the daily case rate in the second least restrictive or orange level from four cases per 100,000 to six cases per 100,000. means that counties in red levels will be able to move to lower levels faster.

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