As long as California sees success on a few important factors, the state plans to scrap its colored tiered reopening system on June 15, essentially reopening the state as a whole.
This story was first published by The Oaklandside.
At least three things will have to happen in the meantime. COVID case rates must continue to decline. There will have to be sufficient supply of vaccines for Californians over the age of 16 who want them. And hospitalizations rates must remain “stable and low.”
“If we keep the pace, we’ll move past the blueprint,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday morning at a mass vaccination site in San Francisco.
Even if everything reopens on June 15, Newsom says some safety measures —like the statewide mask mandate—will remain in place. Some businesses may require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to let people in, as the San Francisco Giants are requiring for entry to its home games.
Even as the state returns to “business as usual,” Newsom says, decisions will continue to be “led by data.”
“We’re seeing the bright light at the end of the tunnel,” Newsom said.
More details on the state’s plan are available on the California Department of Public Health’s website.
Newsom made the announcement as the state is expected to surpass 20 million vaccine doses administered, 4 million of which have gone to Californians in hardest-hit communities.
Those communities have also been the focus of federally supported mass vaccination sites in Los Angeles and Oakland, which were set to shut down on Sunday.
Finally, some clarity on the Coliseum site
After weeks of wondering whether the site at the Oakland Coliseum would remain open past its initial eight-week plan, Newsom confirmed that it will continue to operate and vaccinate eligible residents.
“The only difference is that the vaccines will not be coming directly from the federal government,” Newsom said.
Newsom says the Federal Emergency Management Agency and California’s Office of Emergency Services will continue to staff and oversee the facilities, which each has been able to dish out about 42,000 shots a week.
“The only ambiguity has been [vaccine] supply,” Newsom said. “We’ll figure that out.”
Newsom says the state will match the number of vaccines that Alameda and Contra Costa counties are able to receive.
As for April 15, when all Californians over the age of 16 will be eligible for vaccination, Newsom said the state will receive a “modest but not substantial” increase in vaccines.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services, said today that 70% of eligible Californians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as supply to the state continues to increase.
Also today, President Biden moved up the deadline for states to make all adults eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines from May 1 to April 19, which is still four days later than California’s deadline.