No more tiers. Gavin Newsom signs order to officially end most COVID rules Tuesday
It's official: Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Friday afternoon that will end California's home stay and county tier system on Tuesday.
Though changed many times, Newsom's stay-at-home order on March 19, 2020 served as the legal foundation for California's complex web of restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus as infection rates over the past 15 Years gradually increased months.
Its official end on Tuesday marks a turning point for life in California.
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From that day, the state is no longer subject to the color-coded tiered system that restricted economic activity based on the severity of the disease that was common in each county.
These restrictions will be replaced by a new public health order on masking and mass gatherings, said Dr. Minister of Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly during a call with reporters on Friday afternoon.
There will still be some areas where everyone will have to wear masks, including public transportation, schools, and prisons, but people can take their masks off according to the relaxed rules in most environments.
Despite the changes, Newsom says it won't end the COVID-19 state of emergency on June 15. State officials say ending the emergency would end all pandemic regulations, including many that allow regulatory flexibility. These include license waivers for businesses to make hand sanitizer and for paramedics badly needed during the darkest days of the pandemic.
Although California now has one of the lowest transmission rates in the country and better vaccination rate than the whole country, companies still need time to get back to normal. Suddenly ending the emergency order would be massively disruptive, said Ann Patterson, Newsom's attorney general. Instead, the implementing regulations, which allow regulatory flexibility, will be phased out.
"We plan this downsizing carefully and methodically," to give companies time to transition back to normal, she said.
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