California Reopens with Vaccinations Up, Infections Down

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– San Bernardino County, along with the rest of the state, will fully reopen its economy Tuesday — eliminating various restrictions and saying farewell to the color-coded county tier system we’ve been living under for the past several months.

Beginning Tuesday, everyday life here will largely return to pre-COVID norms. Restaurants, bars, retail stores, theaters, hotels and entertainment centers may return to usual operations — meaning no capacity limitations and no requirements for social distancing.

All of California’s restrictions on travel outside the state will be lifted, and the state says it is not considering creating a vaccine passport.

“This is a day we’ve all been waiting for,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “While we have been through one of the most challenging periods in our County’s history, I’m very proud of the way we’ve pulled together as a community — with everyone from hospital workers and grocery clerks to local business owners working together to protect each other and overcome this pandemic.”

The question of masks

Tomorrow, California and San Bernardino County will align with the revised mask guidelines recently announced by the CDC. This states: “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

This means while fully vaccinated individuals won’t need to wear face coverings in most indoor and outdoor settings, they will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, airports and transportation stations. Other places where vaccinated people will still need to wear masks, include health care settings, prisons, homeless shelters and schools. In addition, private businesses may choose to continue requiring facial coverings.

And of course, anyone is free to wear a mask anytime they’d like, especially when around children and others who are vulnerable or not yet eligible for vaccination.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals will still be required to wear facial coverings outside of their home. Unvaccinated Californians, can only take off their masks in public when they’re outside and can maintain 6 feet of distance with others.

As for workplaces, Gov. Gavin Newsom today said that he expects State Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better knowns as Cal/OSHA, to vote on Thursday to allow vaccinated employees to go maskless in California workplaces. Those not vaccinated would still have to wear masks when working indoors or in vehicles. If Cal/OSHA does that, Newsom said he would immediately issue an executive order to put the new rule into effect immediately.

New County health order

An additional sign that life is returning to normal is a new county health order just signed by the County Health Officer designed to align practices at health care facilities with statewide guidelines.

The new county health order aligns with California Department of Public Health guidance by encouraging rather than requiring health care facilities to conduct some form of wellness screening at their entrances.

The new county health order also makes it clear that there are no county-imposed face-covering requirements in San Bernardino County. Guidelines set forth by the California Department of Public Health, based on greatly-relaxed guidance from the CDC, continue to apply to all jurisdictions within the state and cannot be mitigated by any action at the county or city level.

The new county health order will be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors at a public meeting within 30 days in accordance with the County Charter.

Mega events

Also, what the state deems “mega events” — outdoor live events attended by more than 10,000 people and indoor events with 5,000 or more attendees — still face some restrictions. Those attending indoor events must either be vaccinated or have recently achieved a negative COVID-19 test. The same guidelines are recommended (though not mandated) for outdoor events. Businesses and venue operators may require proof or self-attestation at point of registration, during ticket purchase or on the day of the event prior to entry into the venue. The mega event requirements will remain in place until October 1.

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