California plans to lift most pandemic restrictions June 15

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 7, 2021

"We are seeing bright light at the end of the tunnel", Newsom said at a press conference. "We will be getting rid of the blueprint as you know it today". A health official from Illinois' Cook County, the jurisdiction that encompasses Chicago, said Monday that a local spike in new cases will likely bring another "clampdown" within days.

Newsom said he expects 30 million doses to be administered by the end of April, putting them on track to inoculate numerous estimated 32 million people eligible for the vaccine.

He said officials are designing a system that will be able to administer some 5.8 million doses on a weekly basis, more than double the capacity of the approximately 2.5 million it received last week from the federal government.

Newsom said he expects schools, community colleges and universities across the state to return to in- person instruction.

Eligibility for the vaccine is also increasing.

Vaccine eligibility will expand to people in California 16 and older starting April 15, although some counties have already started vaccinating young adults. "We will be moving past the dimmer switch", Newsom stated.

The state will continue contact tracing and testing, and testing or vaccination verification requirements will remain in certain settings, he said in a release. Ghaly cited a "stable and low burden of the disease", along with "continued improvements and low level of hospitalizations" in the state as reasoning for the plan to reopen.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's secretary of health and human services, said in an earlier briefing Tuesday, April 6, that the current trend toward lower COVID-related hospitalizations has a lot to do with the the level of confidence now on display.

However, the state's face mask mandate will remain in place indefinitely, along with so-called "social distancing" and the pressure to vaccinate.

"With the expectation of an abundance of doses coming in from the federal government through the end of this month and into May, we can confidently say by June 15 that we can start to open up as business as usual, subject to ongoing mask wearing and ongoing vigilance", Newsom said.

Ghaly said scrapping the blueprint - which will be done statewide, regardless of where individual counties may be ranked at the time in the tier system - "really means that every day activities will be allowed, and businesses can open with common-sense risk-reduction measures".

Unless testing or vaccination status is verified for all attendees, conventions will be capped at 5,000 people until October 1, and worldwide convention attendees will only be allowed if fully vaccinated.

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