News

California sets June 15 goal for full reopening

Customers fill Bistro Vida's outdoor tables for lunch in downtown Menlo Park on June 9, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

As the pace of vaccination picks up, California state officials on Tuesday announced the date they plan to fully reopen the state's economy: June 15.

Reopening by then will largely depend on two criteria: Vaccine supply must be sufficient for anyone 16 and older who wants a shot and hospitalization rates must remain low and stable. The mask mandate would remain in place, however.

"It is incumbent upon all of us not to state mission accomplished, not to put down our guard, but to continue with vigilance that got us to where we are today," Gov. Gavin Newsom said April 6 from San Francisco.

The move would eliminate the complex web of county-by-county tiers and replace it with a statewide reopening of businesses. Businesses would open up to full capacity, although individual counties can still opt to have more restrictions depending on their circumstances.

Schools would be allowed to reopen to all in-person learning; however, the school districts will maintain control.

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"I want kids back in school safely, and on June 15 we anticipate there will be no barriers to getting kids back in person, not just K-12 … (also) including institutions of higher education," Newsom said.

'What we could see is fully occupied settings, but yet still with masks.'

-Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of California Health & Human Services

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's health secretary, said he feels comfortable allowing businesses to operate at full capacity in mid-June because the state will continue to track local conditions.

"What we could see is fully occupied settings, but yet still with masks," Ghaly said Tuesday.

Until at least Oct. 1, events at large settings like convention centers will only be allowed if organizers can show that attendees are either vaccinated or are tested. There is still no plan, however, for large, multi-day events like music festivals to take place, Ghaly said.

As of Monday, the state had administered more than 20 million vaccines — more than entire countries. That includes 4 million doses in the state's hardest hit ZIP codes. This progress allows the state to move forward, and leave behind its colored blueprint that has been determining reopenings by county.

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State officials chose the June 15 date because it is eight weeks after April 15, when everyone 16 and older becomes eligible for vaccinations. That gives people three weeks to find an appointment, another three weeks in between their first and second dose and two more weeks after their second dose, which allows them to acquire full protection.

"It makes sense to me," said Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at UC San Francisco. "On the one hand, vaccination is going gangbusters, I think that will give us the out, but we also have to see what happens with the variants, and if people who are vaccinated are getting infected."

Infections are skyrocketing in some other parts of the country, some linked to new variants of the virus. But California has been able to keep its positivity rate under 2% for several weeks now.

"What we're asking is for people to hunker down for another two months and when we get there, then it's Miller time," Rutherford said.

CalMatters COVID-19 coverage, translation and distribution is supported by generous grants from the Blue Shield of California Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation.

Email Ana B. Ibarra and Barbara Feder Ostrov at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.

CalMatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California's policies and politics. Read more state news from CalMatters here.

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

California sets June 15 goal for full reopening

by / CalMatters

Uploaded: Tue, Apr 6, 2021, 12:56 pm

As the pace of vaccination picks up, California state officials on Tuesday announced the date they plan to fully reopen the state's economy: June 15.

Reopening by then will largely depend on two criteria: Vaccine supply must be sufficient for anyone 16 and older who wants a shot and hospitalization rates must remain low and stable. The mask mandate would remain in place, however.

"It is incumbent upon all of us not to state mission accomplished, not to put down our guard, but to continue with vigilance that got us to where we are today," Gov. Gavin Newsom said April 6 from San Francisco.

The move would eliminate the complex web of county-by-county tiers and replace it with a statewide reopening of businesses. Businesses would open up to full capacity, although individual counties can still opt to have more restrictions depending on their circumstances.

Schools would be allowed to reopen to all in-person learning; however, the school districts will maintain control.

"I want kids back in school safely, and on June 15 we anticipate there will be no barriers to getting kids back in person, not just K-12 … (also) including institutions of higher education," Newsom said.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's health secretary, said he feels comfortable allowing businesses to operate at full capacity in mid-June because the state will continue to track local conditions.

"What we could see is fully occupied settings, but yet still with masks," Ghaly said Tuesday.

Until at least Oct. 1, events at large settings like convention centers will only be allowed if organizers can show that attendees are either vaccinated or are tested. There is still no plan, however, for large, multi-day events like music festivals to take place, Ghaly said.

As of Monday, the state had administered more than 20 million vaccines — more than entire countries. That includes 4 million doses in the state's hardest hit ZIP codes. This progress allows the state to move forward, and leave behind its colored blueprint that has been determining reopenings by county.

State officials chose the June 15 date because it is eight weeks after April 15, when everyone 16 and older becomes eligible for vaccinations. That gives people three weeks to find an appointment, another three weeks in between their first and second dose and two more weeks after their second dose, which allows them to acquire full protection.

"It makes sense to me," said Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at UC San Francisco. "On the one hand, vaccination is going gangbusters, I think that will give us the out, but we also have to see what happens with the variants, and if people who are vaccinated are getting infected."

Infections are skyrocketing in some other parts of the country, some linked to new variants of the virus. But California has been able to keep its positivity rate under 2% for several weeks now.

"What we're asking is for people to hunker down for another two months and when we get there, then it's Miller time," Rutherford said.

CalMatters COVID-19 coverage, translation and distribution is supported by generous grants from the Blue Shield of California Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation.

Email Ana B. Ibarra and Barbara Feder Ostrov at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California's policies and politics.

Comments

The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:23 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:23 pm

I am torn by this announcement. On one hand I feel for the small businesses and restaurants that need to reopen after this year of hardship. People are also really tired of restrictions. Everyone wants the old normal back. On the other hand Newsom is so worried about the economy and his recall I feel they aren’t telling the public the complete truth.

Yes. It will be “safer” to go out by June 15th with likely a majority of Californians and possibly the majority of the United States vaccinated. But we are in a global pandemic. New variants may arrive at any time with everyone’s great love of travel. Also, children make up about 22% of the U.S. population and a vaccine won’t be available for them until the fall. The vaccines should cut down transmission but will the virus circulate among the people refusing to get vaccinated and among the unvaccinated children? It’s also possible the virus may burn itself out a bit once the majority of adults are vaccinated. It remains to be seen. I personally think even with vaccines we will likely need to wear masks into 2022. Public health/Government officials just no longer want the pressure and responsibility of mandating these restrictions.

I think Newsom saying, “ I want kids back in school safely, and on June 15 we anticipate there will be no barriers to getting kids back in person, not just K-12 … (also) including institutions of higher education” and Ghaly saying “he feels comfortable allowing businesses to operate at full capacity in mid-June because the state will continue to track local conditions” is conflicting. If it’s safe why the need to track local conditions? It’s just a rush to get children in school so parents can go back to work. They know there will likely continue to be localized outbreaks at least until the end of 2021. Just know that both Parties care more about profits than lives, so stay vigilant everyone. Spanish Flu lasted around 2 years in 3 waves. Covid will be about 2 years in 4 waves.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:34 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:34 pm

Of course we in Santa Clara County will be treated very differently from the rest of the State.


What Will They Do Next
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 7, 2021 at 11:16 am
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 11:16 am

Newsom really sweating the recall. All of a sudden the state is going to fully reopen. Hopefully, people will see right through this charade and vote en masse to recall him. California can do much better.


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