When the COVID-19 pandemic began in earnest last year, California was one of the first states to engage in a concentrated lockdown effort in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Capacity limits were placed on businesses, and face masks and social distancing were mandated; this was life in California for the most part since March 2020. However, thanks to a successful vaccine rollout, California is finally ready to reopen for business.
As of today, capacity limits and social distancing requirements in all of California have been lifted entirely, and face masks are no longer required, provided the person wearing them has been fully vaccinated. For safety purposes, masks are still required on public transportation, hospitals, jails, schools, and day cares, though this is all in line with the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control.
“California is turning the page on this pandemic, thanks to swift action by the state and the work of Californians who followed public health guidelines and got vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “With nearly 40 million vaccines administered and among the lowest case rates in the nation, we are lifting the orders that impact Californians on a day-to-day basis while remaining vigilant to protect public health and safety as the pandemic persists.”
Indeed, California has taken very well to the vaccination effort. In California, about 72% of adults and about 59% of all residents have received at least one shot of one of the three available vaccines. California currently has the third-lowest seven-day death rate per capita and the seventh-lowest seven-day infection rate per capita compared to the rest of the United States.
Good morning California.
It’s reopening day.
We’ve administered over 40 million vaccines.
No more social distancing.
No more capacity limits.
No more colors or county tiers.
And if you’re vaccinated—no more masks.
It’s a good day.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 15, 2021
There is still some work to be done, however, as Newsom stressed. “We’re not done. This is not spiking the football tomorrow. It’s not mission accomplished tomorrow. This virus is not going away tomorrow. This pandemic is not behind us tomorrow. We’re very mindful that already in 2021 globally more people have lost their lives to Covid than the entire year 2020,” he said.
Newsom heavily advised people to be honest about their vaccination in relation to masks, and to continue wearing them if they haven’t been vaccinated. “It’s on the basis of trust, and that’s the system that’s in place nationally and it’s the system that will be in place in California,” he said.