California was one of the first states to go into lockdown to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. On Tuesday, California state officials announced their plan to reopen all the usual activities and businesses in the state from the 15th of June. According to the state’s Secretary for Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly said that this step is a viable option for a number of reasons including a decrease in the rate of infection, fewer hospitalizations, and a stark increase in the number of vaccinations.
California Set To Reopen By June
However, the Governor of California Gavin Newsom was firm that the mask mandate would continue to be enforced for now. Newsom was confident in his assurance that the situation would be monitored vigilantly and with the continued enforcement of the mask mandate. Moreover, he affirmed that people would continue to be vaccinated and a steady supply of vaccines would be made available.
Governor Newsom explains, “Looking 10 weeks out, our expectation is everybody that would want the vaccine will have the opportunity to receive a vaccine.” California’s decision to open up businesses and other activities comes at a time when medical experts warn state leaders to our off-opening states until more people can be vaccinated.
Mark Ghaly explained that the date of reopening is not set in stone. He said that the date could be adjusted. “We’re looking at the supply and availability of vaccines. If the supply isn’t there, we may make some tweaks to that June 15 date,” stated Ghaly.
The Health and Human Services Secretary for California announced that the system will cease to operate via its four-tier system which is used to figure out the rate of Covid 19 cases in the area. However, the state would continue to take all the “necessary precautions” in case the rate of hospitalizations increase.
California has reported a sharp decrease in the number of Covid-19 cases during the winter. In recent weeks, however, the decline in cases has plateaued. According to data released by John Hopkins University, the state of California has an average of about 2700 cases in the last week. However, this number is still vastly different from the number of cases that were reported at the peak of the pandemic. In December of last year, the number of cases was averaging around 46,000 cases.
Looking at this data Governor Newsom stated that California currently has the lowest positivity rate for Covid-19. California’s Covid 19 positivity rate is 1.7% a huge drop from the Covid 19 positivity rate in January which was 17.1 %. Over the last week, the United States has reported a 5.71% positivity rate according to data released by the US Health and Human Services.
The World Health Organization has recommended that countries and states should not open up businesses and come out of lockdown until Covid 19 positivity rates that are tested are below 5 % for 14 days.
Vaccinations have shown increasing importance during this pandemic. President Joe Biden has announced recently that he is going to move the deadline for states so that all adults are eligible to receive the Covid 19 vaccine. The deadline is set to be moved up to April 19 from the previous date of May 1.
Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University School of Public Health has emphasized that maintaining safety precautions is of the utmost importance right now. He says that it is a crucial step in the fight against the pandemic. Dr. Jha states, We’re not there yet and the variants make it particularly concerning. We really do have to hunker down for a few more weeks. We are very close to the finish line but we can’t stop yet.”