California plans to begin reopening its economy by June 15, as long as there is enough vaccine supply for everyone who wants one in the state and hospitalization rates remain low and stable, Governor Gavin Newsom outlined on Tuesday.
"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," said Newsom in a statement. "We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic."
The move to reopen the state is a major turning point for the nation's coronavirus outbreak, with California being one of the first states a little over a year ago to issue stay-at-home orders on its population. Other states like Texas have already lifted most of their social restrictions and mask mandates, but California, the most populous state, will be the largest to do do.
California at one point had the tightest public health restrictions in the country, with its tier system keeping the southern regions of the state in some level of lockdown for the majority of the pandemic. The state's reopening plan includes ending the color-coded tier system as well.
The state has reported nearly 3.6 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with more than 58,000 deaths, making it both the state with the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in the nation. The state has move rapidly to increase it's vaccination efforts, with more than 21 million total doses administered and about 7.5 million people fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated means that an individual has received either two doses of the Pfizer
"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," Newsom added.
Outside of California, the United States continues to accelerate the nation's historic vaccination drive. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. has administered 150 million COVID-19 vaccine shots since he took office in January, with the president aiming to administer 200 million doses by the end of the month.
Biden also announced that should open vaccine appoints to all U.S. adults by April 19, moving his original deadline up by nearly two weeks as the nation races to curb its outbreak.
Currently, the U.S. is administering about 3 million COVID-19 vaccine shots per day, according to data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 64 million people are fully vaccinated.