California releases plans to reopen economy to ‘usual operations’ June 15, commits to reopening education sector

A restaurant has a "WE ARE OPEN" sign in its windows.
Governor Gavin Newsom announces California’s economy will fully reopen June 15. (Courtesy: Frederic Brown via Getty Images)

California’s economy will fully reopen on June 15 if vaccine and hospitalization targets are met, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday. 

This marks a move from the current Blueprint for a Safer Economy system, which currently assigns reopening guidelines to counties based on a color-coded tier corresponding to the level of positive COVID-19 case rates and vaccinations metrics. Los Angeles County moved into the orange tier April 5

For the state to reopen its economy, there must be enough vaccines available so that any Californian age 16 or older can get vaccinated. Hospitalization rates must also remain “stable and low,” per a press release from the governor’s office. 

If these targets are not met, the reopening date could be pushed back. 

If the state were to phase into the new reopening model, “everyday activities” would be allowed, and businesses could open with “common-sense risk reduction” measures. The state would reopen together, a move away from the county-by-county approach in place since the pandemic’s beginning. 

Opening the state also includes transitioning to in-person education, as all sectors listed in the current Blueprint for a Safer Economy grid can return to “usual operations” in compliance with Cal and OSHA requirements and “common-sense public health policies.”

“We anticipate there will be no barrier to getting all of our kids safely back, not just K-12, community colleges, including institutions of higher learning,” Newsom said at a press conference Tuesday. 

Currently, these guidelines include creating a COVID-19 prevention plan, requiring facial coverings, promoting good hygiene, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, having good ventilation and conducting regular health screenings. 

The state of California will continue to require masks and promote testing and contact tracing. Travel restrictions issued by the California Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will still apply.

Both Claremont McKenna College and Pomona College have opened athletics facilities to students, staff and faculty in accordance with public health guidelines.

Harvey Mudd College plans to hold on-campus summer research and has announced plans for in-person instruction in the fall, with modifications to follow health guidelines. Pitzer College, Pomona, CMC and Scripps College are also planning for a fall return.

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