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Here's how California can fully and safely reopen in June

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Posted at 11:00 AM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 16:31:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- California can fully reopen its economy in June, but only if the state reaches two important benchmarks.

According to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, the state will be able to end its “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” color-based tier system and reopen on June 15 if the following goals are met:

-- If vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated
-- If hospitalization rates are stable and low

So far, California has administered over 20 million vaccine doses, with 4 million people in the state’s hardest-hit communities receiving vaccinations.

The governor’s office added: “Everyday activities will be allowed and businesses can open with common-sense risk reduction measures, including encouraging all Californians to get vaccinated and mandating masking, to prevent illness and promote health. The state will continue contact tracing and testing to detect cases early and contain spread of the virus. The entire state will move into this new phase as a whole. The state will monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access and vaccine efficacy against variants, with the option to revisit the June 15 date if needed.”

In a statement, Newsom said, “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. 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.”

"With all of that, we are at the stage where we're ready to consider the next aspect of our pandemic response," California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said. "The road to this moment hasn't been easy. We have come together as Californians to save thousands of lives. And now we look at what is beyond that Blueprint for a Safer Economy that has been guiding California's slow, public-health-minded transition and opening of our economy. ... We look to get to that end of the blueprint."

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."

"This means the end to our color-coded tiers," he said. "You can go to movies, to the beach and see family."

Ghaly stressed, however, that a statewide mask mandate will remain in place "to prevent illness and promote health."