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Gov. Newsom to lift 95% of COVID-19 related executive actions

Nineteen of the remaining provisions are terminated immediately, according to a release from the governor's office.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom has lifted a majority of the state's overall emergency declaration set in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is keeping measures to continue testing and vaccinating Californians.

Since the start of the pandemic, Newsom has issued about 70 executive orders containing 561 provisions. Now, Newsom's office says just 30 will remain in effect. According to the governor's office, those that will remain are critical to the state's SMARTER plan.

“California’s early and decisive measures to combat COVID-19 have saved countless lives throughout the pandemic, and as the recent Omicron surge made clear, we must remain prepared to quickly and effectively respond to changing conditions in real time,” said Governor Newsom in a press release. “As we move the state’s recovery forward, we’ll continue to focus on scaling back provisions while maintaining essential testing, vaccination and health care system supports that ensure California has the needed tools and flexibility to strategically adapt our response for what lies ahead.”

Under the order signed by the governor Friday, 19 of the remaining provisions are terminated immediately, an additional 18 will be lifted on March 31 and 15 will expire on June 30.

Seventeen of the executive actions still in effect are related to bolstering the state’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs and preventing potential strain on the health care delivery system, according to a press release.

Thirteen other provisions still in place are related to COVID workplace safety.

"(The) remaining provisions ensure COVID workplace safety standards remain aligned with the most current public health guidance and evidence and provide important flexibility to state and local agencies to administer the emergency response while the state of emergency remains open," wrote the governor's office in a press release.

Meanwhile, Newsom signed an order ending 12 state of emergency declarations, which automatically terminate any associated executive orders relating to those events. But he offered no timeline for ending the statewide coronavirus emergency, meaning he will continue to wield broad authority to change or suspend state laws in response to the pandemic.

Newsom has used that authority to issue 561 orders since the pandemic began. Some were relatively small, like delaying deadlines for filing taxes or renewing driver’s licenses. Others were big, like issuing a statewide stay-at-home order that put millions of people out of work.

Newsom began lifting many of those orders last summer, when he declared the state had “reopened” following a decline in new cases and hospitalizations. But he issued more orders in the winter in response to the omicron surge.

Newsom announced Friday he was terminating an additional 52 orders, leaving only 30 in place.

To read the governor's full announcement, click here.

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