Newsom Lifts Most COVID-Related Executive Orders

By Brandon Drey
Brandon Drey
Brandon Drey
Brandon Drey is a California-based reporter for The Epoch Times.
February 25, 2022 Updated: March 3, 2022

SACRAMENTO—Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted all but 5 percent of California’s COVID-19-related executive orders on Feb. 25, while keeping the state of emergency declaration in place.

“As we move the state’s recovery forward, we’ll continue to focus on scaling back provisions while maintaining essential testing, vaccination and health care system supports that ensure California has the needed tools and flexibility to strategically adapt our response for what lies ahead,” Newsom said in a statement.

Newsom made about 70 executive orders related to COVID. However, only 15 percent of the orders were in effect after Newsom rolled out in June 2021 the SMARTER Plan, another executive order focusing on the state’s response to the next phase of the pandemic and future outbreaks.

The governor’s move on Feb. 25 stripped these executive orders down so only 5 percent remained—totaling 33 orders. Of those, 18 will end on March 31, and the last 15 will expire on June 30.

In the meantime, these orders continue the state’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs and prevent potential strain on health care facilities and workers, according to the governor’s office.

More specifically, these orders will facilitate the following:

  • COVID-19 testing programs that process at least 500,000 tests per day
  • vaccine programs that distribute at least 200,000 doses per day
  • protection of capacity levels at hospitals
  • keeping workplace safety standards flexible to state and local agencies

“California’s health care delivery system remains deeply strained because of the pandemic,” Carmela Coyle, president and CEO of the California Hospital Association, said in a statement. “Today’s extension of certain key, temporary flexibilities means that hospitals can continue to use things like tents to receive and triage patients and retain out-of-state health care personnel to maximize care capacity throughout the State.”

In addition, the governor also lifted 12 open states of emergency on Feb. 25 relating to fires, heatwaves, and “other incidents” dating back to 2015.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the number of executive orders issued since the start of the pandemic. The Epoch Times regrets this error.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the date executive orders were lifted until only 5 percent remained. The Epoch Times regrets this error.

Brandon Drey
Brandon Drey is a California-based reporter for The Epoch Times.