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Newsom Says California Could Fully Reopen by Mid-June

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On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that California now has the lowest COVID-19 test positivity rate in the country. He followed up Tuesday with an announcement that he’s hoping to fully reopen the state by June 15.

That target date is scheduled exactly two months after vaccine eligibility is extended statewide to all residents age 16 and older, though some counties have already begun doing so. Newsom said Tuesday that California has administered more than 20 million doses, which includes 4 million in “hardest-hit communities” as defined by the California Department of Public Health.

California represents more than 18 percent of all vaccinations administered nationwide.

The Solano County Fairgrounds COVID-19 vaccination site has made it possible for people to be in and out in just more than 30 minutes. (Photo courtesy of Hammond Entertainment)

According to a statement issued on the CDPH website Tuesday, the June 15 reopening plan is dependent on two triggers: sufficient vaccine supply to inoculate all eligible residents and data reflecting a “consistently low burden of disease,” which specifically refers to stable hospitalization rates.

The “Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy” statement details what a full reopening will look like in the best-case scenario. Basically, all business sectors will be permitted to operate within guidelines established by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other state agencies. 

Conventions can allow more than 5,000 attendees if vaccination status is verified. That cap will theoretically be removed as of Oct. 1. Schools that comply with Cal/OSHA and public health guidelines will be permitted to offer full-time in-person instruction.

The reopening plan for businesses and activities is contingent on continued “common-sense risk reduction measures such as masking and vaccinations.”

Further details can be found here.

California Blueprint for a Safer Economy county tier map as of Tuesday, April 6, 2021. (Graphic courtesy of CDPH)

On a local level, Contra Costa, Napa and Sonoma counties were given some good news Tuesday with the announcement that they have been moved into the orange tier, allowing for further reopenings and activity expansions as of Wednesday. Solano County is now the only Bay Area county still in the red tier.

Under the orange, or moderate, designation, bars can reopen outdoors without food service requirements, movie theaters can allow 50 percent capacity, live outdoor sporting or entertainment venues can permit up to 33 percent capacity with reservations and restaurants can serve indoor diners at half capacity or 200 people, whichever is less. 

Regulations will be relaxed for several other business and activity sectors as well. People can review industry- and activity-specific guidance on the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  

President Joe Biden also provided an update on the nation’s vaccination progress Tuesday, announcing that his administration has surpassed 150 million vaccine doses administered on its way to the 200 million goal within his first 100 days in office.


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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.