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California To Fully Reopen On June 15: 'We Can Now Begin Planning For Our Lives Post-Pandemic,' Newsom Says

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California has set a date for when it will fully reopen after the pandemic.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that, as long as the Golden State meets two specific criteria, California will fully reopen its economy on June 15.

The two criteria the state needs to meet are: keeping the COVID-19 vaccine supply sufficient for everyone 16 and older who wish to be inoculated, and keeping hospitalization stable and low.

In a statement, Newsom noted how it was "time to turn the page" to the next step after COVID-19 with more than 20 million vaccines already administered in California.

"We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic," Newsom said in the statement. "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."

If and when California fully reopens, the state's color-coded Blueprint for a Safer Economy will come to an end.

State officials say they will continue to monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access and the vaccines' efficacy against COVID-19.

The California Chamber of Commerce applauded Newsom's announcement about fully reopening.

"The diligent efforts of all Californians to follow COVID-19 safety protocols will pay off on June 15th. Californians should be congratulated for their sacrifices and patience in working to protect public health," said the chamber's CEO Allen Zaremberg in a statement.

Health leaders stress that people need to continue to take steps to stop the spread.

"In order to take the next step, we must continue to do our part to keep this momentum moving in the right direction, and that means continuing to wear a mask and ensuring everyone who is eligible gets the vaccine," said California's Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a statement.

Newsom acknowledged that there were no plans to lift the mask mandate at this time. 

California plans on opening up vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and older starting April 15, but some areas and health plans - like UC Davis - have already moved into this phase.

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