Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday the state would “fully reopen” on June 15 — with two conditions.
Business will return to a semblance of normalcy if the state has enough vaccine supply for all residents aged 16 and over to get inoculated and if hospitalizations remain “stable and low.” Newsom did not provide specifics on what numbers are needed to hit either benchmark.
California will abandon its current tiered system which applies restrictions on a county-by-county basis, and open the entire state at once. Newsom will keep the state’s mask mandate in place, but “everyday activities” will be allowed to resume with “common-sense risk reduction measures” like mask-wearing.
The state’s health department will reserve the right to move the reopening date if conditions worsen. Newsom added that schools will not be required to reopen for in-person instruction by June 15, although any state-level barriers to reopening will be removed.
Like much of the country, California’s case and death rate has steadily fallen since January. Newsom is facing a recall election that was brought forth largely in response to his pandemic restrictions, which critics have said were too strict. (RELATED: ‘I’m Not Really Quite Sure’: Fauci Can’t Explain Why Texas COVID Cases Are Dropping Despite The State Lifting All Restrictions)
Headlines say Governor Newsom is opening California on June 15. They should say he’s continuing a catastrophic policy for another two months.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) April 6, 2021
California’s date for reopening will come months after other states. States like Florida and Oklahoma have been open since 2020, and others including Texas and Mississippi led a recent wave of eased restrictions. Despite criticism from President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Newsom for reopening, case and death totals in Texas have continued to fall.