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Statewide COVID-19 Restrictions Could Be Lifted by June

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Nearly all of California’s COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted by June 15 with the addition of a new Green Tier in the state’s reopening plan. Gov. Newsom outlined the state’s next steps in the COVID-19 pandemic recovery in his April 6 press conference

California plans to move beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and eliminate colored tiers as part of the state’s next steps for recovery. Most restrictions will be lifted if hospitalization rates are stable and low and vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years and older planning to be inoculated. However, masks will still be mandatory moving forward.

“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 in the press conference. “We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic. 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.”

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said there are no current plans to impose a state vaccine passport system.

“That said we know that businesses are exploring, already, how they ensure that people who are vaccinated can come and enjoy the benefits of being vaccinated,” Ghaly said.

Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the state plans to have schools and higher educational institutions return to full-time, in-person instruction. These institutions will still be required to comply with Cal/OSHA emergency temporary standards and public health guidelines

To reduce transmission risk in workplaces, indoor ventilation should be improved and masks need to be worn indoors. Remote work will still be advised provided that business operations are not disrupted.

23.5% of Orange County’s population has been fully vaccinated as of April 11. In Orange County, about 38% of the population is white, 35% is Latino, 21% is Asian and 6% is consistent with other ethnicities. Of the 1,348,613 people with at least one dose, 34.5% are white, 16% are Latino, 21% are Asian and 26% are listed as “other.”

“Nearly 50% of eligible Californians have been vaccinated. We’ve administered 24 million doses — over 8 million more than any other state. We have the lowest positivity rate in the country. And today, everyone 16+ can go get vaccinated! Feeling hopeful,” Newson tweeted April 15. 

Liliana Huerta is a Staff Writer for the spring 2021 quarter. She can be reached at lshuerta@uci.edu.