California Retires Blueprint for a Safer Economy
On Tuesday, the State of California retired the majority of its COVID-19 restrictions, including the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, more fully reopening the state’s economy and ending a series of pandemic requirements such as masking for vaccinated individuals, physical distancing, and capacity restrictions in virtually all settings.
With the retirement of most restrictions, only a handful of COVID-19-related precautions remain in place for certain populations and settings. Recall, Governor Gavin Newsom and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón last week issued an updated executive order and public health order setting forth Beyond the Blueprint guidelines for the state, which are limited to:
- Face Coverings – Updated CDPH guidance specifies that masks are not required for fully vaccinated persons except in certain situations where masks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status (e.g., public transit, indoor K-12 or childcare settings, health care settings, correctional facilities, shelter settings).
- Mega Events – CDPH specifies limited COVID-19 precautions for mega events, defined as events with large crowds over 5,000 persons indoors and over 10,000 persons outdoors. Under the state public health officer order, CDPH will reassess the necessity of mega event guidance no later than September 1, 2021.
- K-12 Schools – COVID-19 guidance remains in place for K-12 schools in California, as well as for childcare programs and providers. Updates to K-12 school guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is anticipated to be released over the coming weeks.
CDPH will continue to offer public health recommendations and guidance related to COVID-19.
To commemorate the state’s retirement of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday convened a press event at Universal Studios in Los Angeles County. During the event, the Governor reflected on the state’s experience in responding to COVID-19, expressed grief for the more than 62,000 state residents who died of COVID-19, and remarked on the state’s vaccination progress to date.
Governor Newsom additionally conducted the grand prize drawing as part of the state’s $116.5 million “Vax for the Win” incentive program. 10 vaccinated individuals were randomly selected to win $1.5 million each, and winners were from the following counties: Los Angeles, Marin, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Stanislaus, and Ventura. CDPH has begun notifying grand prize winners of the drawing. All winners have the option to accept their cash prize while remaining anonymous or declining it altogether.
According to the Governor’s Office, California was one of the only states in the country to achieve a week-over-week increase in vaccination rates after announcing the “Vax for the Win” program. The state most recently realized a 22 percent increase in vaccinations, and more than three million vaccine doses have been reported since the state launched the incentive program.
To further encourage more residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Newsom this week announced additional incentives and prizes available to state residents. To highlight the state’s travel and tourism economy, the Governor announced the state will conduct a random drawing among vaccinated residents for one of six different vacation packages to “California’s gateway destination cities.” Winners will be selected on July 1, will receive an all-expenses paid trip, and $2,000 to offset travel expenses. Trip packages include:
- Discover the Best of Anaheim Package for four
- Greater Palm Springs Luxury Package for two
- Premium Los Angeles Experience for four
- San Diego Beach Dream Vacation for four
- San Diego Downtown Dream Vacation for four
- San Francisco “Our Gate is Open” Welcome Package for four
Additionally, in partnership with Six Flags, the state will be providing 50,000 free tickets to Six Flags to residents ages 12 and older who receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose at select clinic locations in the state.
More information on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine incentive program is available here.