SANTA CLARA, Calif.—California plans to fully reopen its economy on June 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on April 6, as long as the state has enough COVID-19 vaccines for those age 16 and older and hospitalization rates continue to be low and stable.
More than 20 million vaccines have been administered across the state, including 4 million to communities that have been hit hardest. Most of the state is currently in the Orange Tier—or moderate risk level—on the state’s reopening blueprint map.
“We anticipate over 30 million people will have been vaccinated with at least one dose by the end of the calendar month. With the expectation of an abundance of doses coming in from the federal government through the end of this month and into May, we can confidently say by June 15, that we can start to open up as business as usual,” Newsom said during a press conference.
When the economy fully reopens, the blueprint will no longer be in effect.
Newsom said Californians will still need to wear masks, and testing or vaccination verification requirements will still be performed where necessary.
His decision came after the effort to recall him surpassed 2.1 million signatures, threatening his position as governor.
The recall effort gained momentum as the lockdowns continued throughout last year.
“In a sense, he appeared to be making all decisions by himself,” Tom Del Beccaro, chair of Rescue California, told NTD Television. “There’s the policy side, but there’s also the side that people just don’t like this governor.
“They think he’s arrogant, they think he’s hypocritical, because of the fact he continues to do things or did: going to expensive restaurants, being out, flouting his own rules; and that kind of hypocrisy is not easy to come back from when you’re a governor.”
The recall movement also cites issues that the governor hasn’t addressed during his administration.
“There’s the issue with the wildfires; there’s the inability to provide consistent electricity; the water issues; there is homelessness; there is high poverty,” Del Beccaro said.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, California recorded about 145,000 unemployment claims in the week of April 3. That’s an increase of almost 39,000 from the prior week.