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California to Reopen, End Physical Distancing and Capacity Limitations June 15

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SDM News
SDM News
 28 days ago

The state will still recommend that hosts of outdoor events with more than 10000 people require that attendees present proof of verification or negative COVID-19 test results. Those who don’t provide proof should wear masks, Dr Mark Ghaly said.

California’s top health official has announced that the state will fully reopen on June 15. Social distancing and limits on business capacities will be lifted, he added.

Governor Gavin Newsom has authorized California to reopen on June 15 in light of declining COVID-19 infection rates.

Image from Wikipedia

“We’re at a point where we can actually move beyond saying we expect to open on June 15, to confirming that we’re opening June 15,” said Dee Dee Meyers, a senior adviser to Governor Gavin Newsom, during a media briefing.

“Capacity limitations are no longer going to be a part of the state’s plan,” Dr Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human services secretary, informed reporters on Friday. “There will no longer be capacity restrictions for attendees, customers and guests.”

When asked about physical distancing, the HHS secretary simply said, “None.”

In recent months California has held out steadily against the coronavirus. New cases have plummeted; there has been a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations. The state has one of the slowest rates of spread in the nation, with at least two-thirds of people partially vaccinated.

Ghaly added that “the state-wide changes don’t mean that local public health jurisdictions can’t put in stricter guidance based on their conditions.”

According to the secretary, California will put the CDC’s guidance for vaccinated people into effect, which allows fully vaccinated people to resume activities without face masks.

The state will also adhere to the CDC’s recommendations on travel, and restrict travellers from hard-hit countries, but will not prevent people from other American states from coming into California or require their quarantine and isolation.

Dr Ghaly emphasized that there are no plans for California to mandate vaccine passports - a notion that has been the subject of nationwide controversy. Instead, attendees of large outdoor events should provide proof of full vaccination  - which could be the white CDC card given after vaccination, or a photocopy of it, or a snapped photograph of the card. 

Acceptable is also a negative COVID-19 test result, conducted 72 hours before event start time. Self-attestation is also allowed, with details to come on how the process will work.

For indoor events with over 5000 guests, starting June 15 the state will require, not just recommend, proof of full vaccination.

At Staples Center, people attending Lakers games or concerts are obligated to provide proof of vaccination or negative test results, according to safety information on the venue’s website.

Staples Center will reopen June 15 with safety guidelines. (Photo from familypedia)

In addition, Lakers and Clippers games will have sections for fans that have been fully vaccinated.

Officials will evaluate the situation by September 1, after which it will be determined whether vaccination requirements will be updated.

Ghaly said that with the economy recommencing, there might be an increase in coronavirus transmission rates, but it’s not expected to be a significant surge.

“We’ll likely see some increase in transmission, but because of the level of protection broadly across the state, we don’t think that transmission will have a significant impact on our hospital delivery,” he said.

Ghaly said that despite the reopening, the state will continue to monitor rates.

In spite of the progress and imminent statewide reopening, officials said there’s still a lot of work to be done, particularly with regards to vaccinating younger individuals.

“We have a lot of work to make sure that we can deliver on a vision for our K-12 schools, that in the fall we set them up to meet 100% in person,” Ghaly said at the briefing.