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Officials eye June 15 to fully reopen state as vaccinations surpass 20 million mark

California is poised to eliminate its tiered reopening system on June 15 as coronavirus case rates fall and vaccinations increase, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

The removal of the tier system will be predicated on the lack of an additional spring or summer surge of the virus, according to Newsom, and will include the continuation of virus transmission mitigation measures like masking and social distancing.

The state will also leave its mask mandate in effect, at least for the immediate future.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly also said that lifting the state’s reopening system will depend on coronavirus-related hospitalizations as well as which groups of people are being hospitalized. Reopening plans could change if a large portion of those being hospitalized have been fully vaccinated, Ghaly said.

Roughly 20 million vaccine doses have been administered statewide, according to Newsom, equivalent to roughly 7.5 million residents who are fully vaccinated and 6 million who have received the first of two doses required for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

California Department of Public Health
California Department of Public Health
California Blueprint for a Safer Economy county tier map as of Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

The state news comes on the same day that three Bay Area counties were moved into the orange tier in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. As of Wednesday morning, Contra Costa, Napa and Sonoma counties will be permitted to loosen restrictions on a wide range of business and activity sectors. Industry-specific guidelines can be found here.

President Joe Biden also announced Tuesday that his administration is less than 50 million doses shy of hitting the 200 million vaccination goal in his first 100 days in office. He added that all U.S. residents age 16 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine as of April 19.

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