California, the first state to implement a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, plans to fully reopen the state’s operations and businesses from June 15, based on falling infection rates and low hospitalizations in the state, Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly announced Tuesday.
Given the large number of Covid-19 vaccinations administered so far – which exceeds 20 million doses today – the state will stop using the four-tier system, dubbed the “Blueprint for a More Economy. sure ”, which has been in place since last August. Ghaly cited “a stable and low burden of disease”, as well as “continuous improvements and a low level of hospitalizations” in the state as the rationale for the plan to reopen.
California reported the lowest positivity rate in the country at 1.7%, far from its peak of 17.1% in early January when the state was reeling from a post-vacation surge.
The entire state will reopen as a whole on June 15, rather than adopting the county-by-county approach that has been used for much of a year to tighten and ease restrictions.
State health officials will continue to use science and data to guide the reopening and variants will be closely monitored, Ghaly vowed, adding that “necessary precautions” will be taken in the event of a worrying increase in hospitalizations. linked to Covid-19.
California’s mask mandate will remain in place, focusing specifically on what Ghaly calls “high-risk” indoor environments. “Masking is a key protective feature, protecting those who are not yet eligible for a vaccine,” Ghaly said.
California vaccination numbers: To date, California has administered more than 7 million more doses of the vaccine than any other state, surpassing many other countries including France and Germany, according to Ghaly. About 70% of older Californians have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than 4 million doses have been given in the hardest-hit communities in the state.
“We are looking at the supply and availability of vaccines. If the offer is not there, we could make some changes to this date of June 15th. We need to make sure that all Californians interested in getting the vaccine, who are eligible, have a reasonable amount of time to get it, ”Ghaly said.
There are currently no plans to enforce or have a vaccination passport plan system in California, but some companies are already exploring the possibility of verifying that their customers are vaccinated.
“Part of the idea is that we can speed up safely and that will also provide an incentive because people are allowed to do more activities because they are vaccinated,” the state economic adviser said, Dee Dee Myers.
Some sectors, such as large conventions with more than 5,000 people, will need to demonstrate that all participants are either vaccinated or tested. This restriction will remain in place until October 1. Ghaly also addressed the multi-day Coachella music festival that draws thousands of people to the Southern California desert each year, noting that it may not be able to reopen at the same size and at the same scope, but state officials work with event organizers and planners to ensure the safety of all attendees.
Since Covid-19 began threatening the world, nearly 3.6 million Californians have been infected and more than 58,000 have died.