Tuesday was a special day in California, as it finally came as close to being back to normal as it has been in over 15 months.
The state lifted most of its COVID restrictions, and packaged it all up in a glamorous grand reopening in which Governor Gavin Newsom took a victory lap and residents took back some of their long lost freedoms.
Essentially, the state no longer requires residents to wear masks indoors in public places, and opens up businesses, sports stadiums, churches, gyms, restaurants and other places people gather to full capacity. These are known as mega events, where there are more than 5,00 people indoors or 10,000 people outdoors.
Of course, this is California, so it’s not quite that easy. Fans of the Dodgers or Clippers will have to show proof of a negative COVID test or documentation of a COVID vaccine shot to cheer for their favorite team, and masks are still required on public transportation, in hospitals and jails, and also at schools and child care centers.
Newsom had this to say about the reopening. “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. 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.”
Roughly 72% of adults and almost 60% of all residents in California have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine. The death rate in the state is the third-lowest in the country per capita.
Before Californian’s get too excited, Newsom essentially told everyone to slow their roll on the celebration, and don’t start thinking that the pandemic is completely in the rear view mirror.
“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.”