Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated he will sign an executive order later this week on workplace mask usage “to clear up any ambiguity.”
Public health measures will remain only for mega-events with 5,000 or more people indoors or 10,000 attendees outdoors, with vaccine verification required or at least recommended, according to the revised health order.
California also will stop limiting capacity and enforcing physical distancing at all venues, and the color-coded tier system for each county will be retired, Newsom said in a news release Friday.
“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 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.”
The grand reopening comes as a majority of residents have been vaccinated and as Covid-19 infections and deaths have sharply receded from a startling spike this winter.
At a news conference Monday, Newsom said the reopening did not mean that efforts to stop the virus were over.
“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 also acknowledged that the CDC’s mask-wearing guidance relies on people to tell the truth about their vaccination status.
“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.
Still, all rules are not back to normal. Some executive orders will remain in place, including one that allows pharmacy technicians to administer vaccine doses. Some provisions will be slowly retired, with about 90% of the governor’s pandemic-related executive orders to be lifted by September, Newsom’s office estimated.
Health officials plan to keep these new guidelines in place until at least October.
CNN’s Alexandra Meeks contributed to this report.
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