California plans to fully reopen by June 15, Newsom says

Omar Rashad, CSU Wire

California plans to fully reopen its economy on June 15 if the spread of COVID-19 continues to decline, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a press conference Tuesday.

The announcement comes after a decline in COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalization rates across the state. Among U.S. states and territories, California has the second-lowest positivity rate, only behind Puerto Rico according to Johns Hopkins University.

In order for the reopening plan to work, Newsom said hospitalization rates would need to continue to decline and the federal vaccine supply would need to remain steady for any Californian ages 16 and older seeking them.

“We anticipate enough vaccines are coming into the state of California with 2.5 million people just last week receiving the vaccine, we anticipate over 30 million people will have been vaccinated with at least one dose at the end of the calendar month,” Newsom said at the press conference.

Newsom added that the plan would also include a return to in-person learning for all age groups including K-12 and college students.

While the plan would stop the state’s use of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier system – which has guided COVID-19 restrictions and reopening procedures in counties since last August – California’s statewide mask mandate will remain in place come summertime.

“It is incumbent upon all of us not to announce mission accomplished, not to put down our guard, but to continue that vigilance that got us to where we are today,” Newsom said.

San Luis Obispo County is currently in the red tier and has a 2.3% positivity rate over the last week. The county has seen a slight increase in COVID-19 cases and positivity rate since March 8. As of April 6, eight San Luis Obispo County residents are in the hospital, one of which is in the ICU.

Over 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in San Luis Obispo County, according to the county’s public health website.