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Governor Says With Improving COVID-19 Metrics, State On Track For Full Reopening In Late Spring

Governor Gavin Newsom says the state is on track for a June 15th end to the COVID-19 color tier system, and a complete reopening.

The governor says the key is if people continue to get vaccinated, and follow practices like social distancing and mask wearing.

He says 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have now been administered in California, including four million in at-risk communities. Newsom says the state’s new case rate of the virus is now the lowest in the nation.

Ventura County got a double dose of good news. In addition to word that the state is on track for a total reopening in June, more immediately the county moved from the red, to more liberal orange tier.

Starting Wednesday morning, it means more indoor capacity for places like restaurants, gyms, and theaters, and complete reopening for retail businesses.

Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties remain in the red tier.

The good news about the state’s reopening plans, and Ventura County’s move to the orange tier is tempered with some cautions. Public Health officials say it means the vaccination rate needs to go up, and people need to continue mask wearing and social distancing:

And, when asked out whether mask mandates will go away if we do see the reopenings as planned in June, the governor says no. He says it’s still uncertain how effective the vaccines are against COVID-19 variants, but masks are a sure way to help prevent their spread.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.