California Plans to Move Away From Color-Coded Tiering System

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California officials are moving the state away from its four-tier reopening system starting on June 15 in preparation for a full reopening of the economy if specific conditions are met, the state governor’s office announced on Tuesday.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, California’s color-coded Blueprint for a Safer Economy has listed counties based on their conditions. The governor’s office released a statement on Tuesday that they will officially be moving away from using the system amid plans to fully reopen the economy once two conditions are met.

Out of the old

First, the vaccine dose supply across the state must be enough to inoculate residents who are at least 16 years old and are willing to get the shot. Second, counties across California must have low and stable hospitalization rates related to the coronavirus infection.

“We’ll be getting rid of the blueprint as you know it today,” California State Governor Gavin Newsom said. Officials said the process would lift the limits on capacity for most establishments. However, large-scale indoor events, including conventions, will be required to comply with testing and vaccination requirements.

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said authorities put out a two-month advance notice to give business owners and residents sufficient time to get their first vaccine shots, get the second shot three to four weeks later, and wait out the two-week period for the vaccine to take effect.

During the initial phases of the color-coded system, about 94% of California’s residents were placed into the most restrictive purple tier. But as of Monday, only two counties were left in the purple tier, Inyo and Merced counties, after Los Angeles and Orange counties moved to the orange tier.

While the governor’s office announced an easing of restrictions, officials are urging residents to continue wearing face masks and get vaccinated. The reopening of the economy would only succeed if enough people get inoculated.

Starting April 15, California residents aged 16 and above will be able to get the coronavirus vaccine, NBC Los Angeles reported.

“With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our tier system and begin looking to fully reopen California’s economy. We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic. We will need to remain vigilant, and continue the practices that got us here —  wearing masks and getting vaccinated —  but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter,” said Newsom.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.