California, the first state to implement a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, plans to fully reopen state activities and businesses starting June 15, based on falling infection rates and low hospitalizations in the state. Mark Ghaly of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.
Given the large number of Covid-19 vaccines administered so far, which currently exceeds 20 million doses, the state will stop using the four-tier system, called the “Plan for a Safer Economy,” which has been in place since last august. Ghaly cited a “low and stable burden of disease” along with “continued improvements and a low level of hospitalizations” in the state as reasoning for reopening the plan.
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 recovering from a post-holiday spike.
The entire state will reopen in its entirety on June 15, instead of adopting the county-by-county approach that has been used for most of the year to tighten and relax restrictions.
State health officials will continue to use science and data to guide the reopening and variants will be closely monitored, Ghaly promised, adding that “necessary precautions” will be taken if there is a worrying increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations.
The California masks 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 Immunization Numbers: To date, California has administered more than 7 million more vaccine doses than any other state, surpassing many other countries, including France and Germany, according to Ghaly. Approximately 70% of older Californians have received at least one dose of the vaccine and more than 4 million doses have been administered in the most affected communities in the state.
“We are analyzing the supply and availability of vaccines. If there is no supply, we can make some adjustments to that date of June 15. We need to make sure that all Californians interested in getting vaccinated, who are eligible, have a reasonable amount of time to do so, ”Ghaly said.
There is currently no plan to enforce or have a vaccine passport plan system in California, but certain companies are already exploring the option of verifying that their clients are vaccinated.
“Part of the idea is that we can safely increase and it will also provide an incentive, as people can do more because they are vaccinated,” said the state’s economic adviser, Dee Dee Myers.
Some sectors, such as large conventions with more than 5,000 people, will need to show that all attendees are vaccinated or screened. That restriction will remain in effect until October 1. Ghaly also addressed the multi-day Coachella music festival that draws thousands to the Southern California desert annually, noting that it may not be able to reopen with the same size and scope, but state officials are working with organizers. and event planners to ensure the safety of all participants.
Since Covid-19 began threatening the world, nearly 3.6 million Californians have been infected and more than 58,000 died as a result.