(KERO) — On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom said the state could say goodbye to the colored-tier system and fully reopen sometime this summer.
The colored-tier system was introduced last year as state leadership tried to monitor COVID-19 outbreaks across all 58 counties. The purple tier is the most restrictive. Right now two counties are in the purple tier, 22 counties are in the red tier, and 32 other counties are in the orange tier. Two are in the yellow tier. But come this summer all those colors and restrictions could be a thing of the past.
Newsom announced that the light at the end of the tunnel could come on June 15 if certain requirements are met. According to the governor, California's economy could fully reopen on June 15 if the state's vaccine supply is adequate for residents 16 and older who wish to be vaccinated to be inoculated, and if hospitalization rates are stable and low.
"We are now moving beyond the blueprint," said Newsom. "We'll be getting rid of the colored tiers. We'll be moving past the dimmer switch. We'll be getting rid of the blueprint, as you know it today. That's on June 15th, if we continue the good work."
Newsom said if these requirements are met, everyday activities will be allowed and businesses can open with common-sense risk reduction measures. He said businesses should still at that time encourage everyone to wear masks and get the vaccine. The announcement numbering the days left for the "on-again, off-again" tiered-based system that closed many businesses across the state for good.
The entire state would move into this new phase as a whole. This announcement coming less than 24 hours after Newsom claimed California has the lowest positivity rate in the country.
California now has the lowest positivity rate in the country.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 5, 2021
The state will continue to monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access, and vaccine efficacy against variants, with the option to revisit the June 15 date if needed. The state will also continue contact tracing and testing to detect cases early and contain the spread of the virus.
“With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our tier system and begin looking to fully reopen California’s economy. We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic," Newsom said.
According to Newsom, the state has reached a total of 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered to Californians in some of the state’s hardest-hit communities, just 23 days after delivering 2 million doses to these communities.
California has now administered over 20 million vaccines.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 6, 2021
Over 70% of our 65+ population has received at least 1 dose.
Over 40% of our 16+ population has received at least 1 dose.
Over 4 million vaccines have been administered in our hardest hit communities.
Let’s keep it up!
Newsom said California will continue to plan for the vaccination of Californians under 16 years of age, protection against new variants and continued tracking and containment of spread. He also said that masks are still going to be required and that there are no short-term plans to remove the mask mandate.
Newsom would go onto say that he want kids back in school in person. He says that this move to reopen on June 15th will take down all barriers for that to happen.
Following Newsom's announcement, CalTravel President and CEO Barb Newton issued a statement:
We are encouraged that it appears conventions and trade shows will be back open for business in California beginning June 15th. We look forward to learning more details from the Administration and collaborating with them on a smooth and safe transition to re-open this critical sector of the state’s economy.