Published: Wed, April 07, 2021
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COVID-19 tier system will end June 15

COVID-19 tier system will end June 15

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signaled an end to more than a year of closures in California, announcing that the nation's most populated state plans to lift most coronavirus restrictions on businesses and workplaces June 15, when enough people should be vaccinated to start returning to normal. "We are seeing a bright light at the end of the tunnel".

The Santa Monica Pier welcomed outdoor visitors on Monday as Los Angeles County entered the less restrictive orange tier.

Newsom said the state would lift its tiered system of risk and restriction known as the "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" contingent on those public health indicators, with its mask mandate and other "common-sense health measures" to remain in place.

And Newsom said masks were "the most powerful non-pharmaceutical intervention we can have".

COVID variants remain a concern, and Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said that officials would continue to monitor hospitalizations - both the overall rates and who is being hospitalized.

California has had one of highest numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths among US states, despite a harsh year-long lockdown that killed thousands of businesses and ruined millions of lives in the process.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's secretary of health and human services, said in an earlier briefing Tuesday, April 6, that the current trend toward lower COVID-related hospitalizations has a lot to do with the the level of confidence now on display. "We need to make sure that all Californians interested in getting vaccinated, who are eligible, have a reasonable period of time to get that", Ghaly said. That number is expected to increase, with Newsom anticipating that more than 30 million doses will have been administered by the end of the month.

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to more California residents, the state is tossing out the tiered reopening plan and moving forward with a new one. "We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic".

The move, confirmed with the release of the state's latest tier report, will squeeze out a little more indoor operating space for restaurants, gyms, outdoor entertainment venues, amusement parks and a host of other businesses and organizations, allowing them to exceed the thin limits that govern the red tier where the region sat for three straight weeks. He did add that large conventions will be allowed to take place, but there may be requirements like testing ahead of time or showing proof of vaccination.

Two criteria will have to be met by June 15 for this to happen, officials said: the state having sufficient vaccine supply for all adults and its COVID-19 hospitalization rates being stable and low.

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