SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With more and more people receiving the coronavirus vaccine, California announced an end of the current tier system and a plan to reopen the state completely on June 15.
Today, Governor Gavin Newsom outlined the state’s next step in the COVID-19 pandemic recovery, moving beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economic. State officials said Tuesday that enough people should be vaccinated by then to allow for life to almost get back to a pre-pandemic normal.
On June 15, California will fully open its economy if two criteria are met:
- If vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated; and
- If hospitalization rates are stable and low
As of Tuesday, April 6, California administered more than 20 million vaccine doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including over 4 million doses in the state’s hardest-hit communities. The state also is reporting a steady decline in hospitalizations related to the coronavirus.
“California has made incredible progress controlling the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, masking, and getting vaccines out quickly to Californians in every corner of the state, including in those communities hardest hit by this pandemic," California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said.
Should the state meet its criteria on June 15, everyday activities will be allowed, and businesses can open with COVID-19 risk reduction measures, including continuing to get vaccinated and wearing a mask to prevent illness.
"We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic," Newsom said. "We will need to remain vigilant and continue the practices that got us here – wearing masks and getting vaccinated – but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter.”
Efforts to keep the spread of the coronavirus down, such as contact tracing, will continue.
The state will continue to monitor COVID-19 metrics and may revisit the June 15 date if the numbers are not in favor of reopening. California had some of the nation’s strictest pandemic rules, becoming the first to institute a statewide stay-at-home order last spring.
ABC 10’s medical expert Dr.Kohli says testing and positive cases could become less reliable as more people get vaccinated because people also become asymptomatic once fully vaccinated , meaning less people will be getting tested. Kohli says the governor setting a hard date to reopen could be problematic.
"So, I do think it's a little bit of a tricky thing to say that we're going to be ready by June 15, especially in a place like California, where where, you know, there have been emergence of many different COVID variants that are concerning," Kohli said.
Dr. Kohli says a metric to look at is vaccination rates , the more people to get vaccinated the safer it is to do every activity.
"I think the biggest thing that's going to determine the date is going to be the number of vaccinations that we've given," Kohli said.
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How to get a vaccine appointment without a computer