Governor Announces June 15 Retirement of Blueprint for Safer Economy

On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state will retire the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and “fully open its economy” on June 15, 2021, if COVID-19 vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated and if hospitalization rates are stable and low.

According to the Governor’s Office, “everyday activities will be allowed and businesses can open with common-sense risk reduction measures” including encouraging all residents to get vaccinated and mandating masking. The state will continue contact tracing and testing efforts to detect COVID-19 cases early and contain the spread of the virus, and the entire state will move into this next phase as a whole. The state will continue to monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access, and vaccine efficacy against virus variants, with the option to revisit the June 15 retirement date if needed.

The state earlier this week also reached a total of four million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to Californians in the lowest Healthy Places Index quartile, and over 22 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to date. With the state reaching four million doses among the lowest HPI quartile, the Blueprint for a Safer Economy was again updated, adjusting tier case rate thresholds. With this update, 16 counties moved to a less restrictive tier this week. Those counties include Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Imperial, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Tulare, and Ventura.

Relatedly, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) clarified that, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as low rates of vaccine take up, a county will only move to a more restrictive tier if hospitalizations are increasing significantly among vulnerable individuals, especially among vaccinated individuals, and both test positivity and adjusted case rates show a concerning increase in transmission.