On Tuesday, officials in California announced that all statewide coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on June 15, but the mask mandate will remain.
As reported by CBS San Francisco, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a San Francisco news conference Tuesday morning, “We are announcing today that on June 15th we will be moving beyond the blueprint and we will be getting rid of the colored tiers. We’ll be moving past the dimmer switch. We will be getting rid of the blueprint as you know it today. That’s on June 15 if we continue the good work.”
“In anticipation and expectation that we do all of the above and I will repeat — to continue to wear face coverings, continuing to access vaccines and continuing to administer vaccines in an equitable framework. If we keep the pace, we are now moving beyond the (reopening tiered) blueprint,” he said.
The local outlet reported that business offices, restaurants, bars, churches, movie theaters, sport and entertainment sites, and all other businesses will be able to fully reopen. In addition to the reopening of businesses, all schools and universities will be re-opened for in-person instruction.
“With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our tier system and begin looking to fully reopen California’s economy,” Newsom said. “We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic.”
The Secretary of California’s Health and Human Services Agency, Dr. Mark Ghaly, stated that Californians need to keep wearing masks and staying away from gatherings where they think they may come in contact with COVID-19.
“It’s incumbent on all of us now not to announce mission accomplished, not to put down our guard, but to continue that vigilance that got us to where we are today, with the lowest case rates in America,” Newsom added. “We are seeing a bright light at the end of the tunnel.”
CBS San Francisco reported, “In a Tuesday morning conference call, Ghaly announced that the state had distributed 20 million vaccinations — 4 million among those groups hardest hit by the disease. That total is 7.2 million more than any other state and ranks 6th in the world.”
“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,” Ghaly said.
The Associated Press reported that Ghaly also said that while most restrictions on capacity will be lifted, large events held indoor will only be permitted with testing or vaccination verification requirements.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine tracking website, COVID-19 cases in California have been declining since the beginning of the year. CDC information also shows that California has administered almost 20.5 million vaccine doses.
California’s economy has been damaged by the multiple lockdowns imposed on businesses by the state government. In December of last year, the Los Angeles Times reported, “California has regained fewer than half of the more than 2.6 million nonfarming jobs it lost in March and April because of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The outlet reported that the unemployment rate in California went down to 8.2% in November, which was down from 9% in October but was more than the nationwide rate of 6.7%.
The unemployment rate in California is still worse than the nationwide numbers. It was at 9% in January of this year, but fell to 8.5% in February, according to California state data. The U.S. Department of Labor released information on Friday showing that the nationwide unemployment rate was 6% in March.
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