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California to fully reopen on June 15 if COVID-19 vaccine supply, hospitalization rates favorable


(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — California will fully reopen its economy on June 15, as long as its COVID-19 vaccine supply is sufficient and hospitalizations remain low, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.

The state has been loosening or tightening restrictions by county based on metrics including COVID-19 test positivity rate and case rate, in what’s been known as its “blueprint for a safer economy.” The majority of the state’s population — 80% — is currently at a moderate-risk level, allowing for some indoor business to operate with modifications.

On June 15, the state will be “getting rid of the blueprint as you know it today,” Newsom said at a press briefing.

The state will fully open its economy and allow all sectors to resume “usual operations” on that date — assuming that residents 16 and older who wish to be inoculated can and hospitalization rates are “stable and low,” the governor’s office said.

Schools will be allowed to conduct full-time, in-person instruction if following public health guidelines, and large-scale indoor events will be capped at 5,000 people through Oct. 1 unless testing or vaccination status is verified for all attendees.

The reopening date could change based on case rates, hospitalizations and vaccine efficacy, officials said.

The state’s mask mandate will remain in effect.

The announcement comes as the state has administered 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. That number is expected to surpass 30 million by the end of the month, Newsom said. There are 32 million people eligible for the vaccine in California.

Starting April 15, all Californians ages 16 and up can get the vaccine.

The state has had some of the strictest pandemic measures, and Newsom’s handling of the health emergency has resulted in an attempted recall election.

California has also been among states hardest hit by the virus. The state, the most populous in the nation, has reported more coronavirus cases — over 3.58 million — and virus-related deaths — 58,534 — than any other, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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