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


"The state will monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access and vaccine efficacy against variants, with the option to revisit the June 15 date if needed".

That mark will loosen the daily case rate in the second least-restrictive orange tier. "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". "And on June 15, all things being equal and we continue that good work, we'll have moved beyond that blueprint and we'll be opening up this economy at business as usual". Ghaly also addressed the multi-day Coachella music festival that draws thousands to the Southern California desert annually, noting that it may not be able to reopen at the same size and scope, but state officials are working with organizers and event planners to ensure the safety of all participants.

Newsom said he expects schools, community colleges and universities across the state to return to in- person instruction. People aged 50 and older became eligible for the vaccine on April 1, and will be joined by those 16 and up starting on April 15.

Given the large number Covid-19 vaccinations administered so far - which surpasses 20 million doses today - the state will stop using the four-tiered system, dubbed the "Blueprint for a Safer Economy", which has been in place since last August.

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.

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"We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic", Newsom said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom also struck a positive tone in the announcement Tuesday, but cautioned that residents still had to remain cautious.

Everyday activities will be allowed, and businesses will be able to fully operate.

"This means the end to our color-coded tiers", he said.

While the number of hospitalizations is low across the state - with 20 patients now hospitalized with COVID-19 in San Francisco, for example - Ghaly said there is a race between vaccines and variants, and urged the public to take public health precautions like wearing a mask and signing up for the vaccine once eligible. 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. Although he stopped short of saying they would be required to do so.