This post was updated April 11 at 9:39 p.m.
California is planning to allow counties to reopen June 15, but certain COVID-19 safety measures are expected to continue for the foreseeable future, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.
Increasing COVID-19 vaccinations and decreasing COVID-19 case counts across the state allow the state to prepare for a full reopening, Newsom said at a press conference Tuesday. California’s reopening will be conditional based on sufficient vaccine supply and stable low hospitalization rates in the state.
The date is subject to change, Newsom said, but the state expects to remove restrictions enforced by the California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier system by June, which restricted each county’s economy based on COVID-19 case rates and positivity rates since August.
“In order to take the next step, we must continue to do our part to keep this momentum moving in the right direction, and that means continuing to wear a mask and ensuring everyone who is eligible gets the vaccine,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s health and human services secretary, in a press release.
The press release said businesses could return to usual operations in compliance with California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s requirements and with public health policies in place. Large indoor events would be permitted with certain vaccination and testing requirements.
California administered over 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of April 6, according to California’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard. Vaccination rates have continued to increase in California, with 2.5 million people receiving the vaccine last week, Newsom said.
Everyone in California over the age of 50 is eligible to get a vaccine, and all adults will be eligible in California starting April 15. There are currently 32 million people in California eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination, and the population of California is about 39 million people, he added.
The state does not anticipate another surge in hospitalizations among the vaccinated population despite rising concerns over variants. Newsom said the state will continue to monitor the number of variants and the vaccine’s efficacy against variants.
California has the lowest case rates in the country, Newsom said. The state reported seven COVID-19-related deaths and approximately 1,300 new COVID-19 cases today.
Los Angeles County is currently in the orange tier of the state’s reopening plan, which allows for increased retail and restaurant capacities. There are currently around 590 people hospitalized with complications due to COVID-19 in LA County, according to the LA County Department of Public Health.
“We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic,” Newsom said. “We will need to remain vigilant and continue the practices that got us here, wearing masks and getting vaccinated, but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter.”