Tag Archives: California Department of Public Health

Order of the California Public Health Officer, June 11

 Source: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Order-of-the-State-Public-Health-Officer-Beyond-Blueprint.aspx

June 11, 2021

TO:  All Californians

SUBJECT:  State Public Health Officer Order of June 11, 2021

​State Public Health Officer Order of June 11, 2021

​At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, California is prepared to enter a new phase. We have made significant progress in vaccinating individuals and reducing community transmission thanks to the steps taken by Californians.

The COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing infection, disease, and spread. Unvaccinated persons are more likely to get infected and spread the virus which is transmitted through the air and concentrates indoors.

We must remain vigilant against variants of the disease especially given high levels of transmission in other parts of the world and due to the possibility of vaccine escape. For these reasons, COVID-19 remains a concern to public health and, in order to prevent its spread, limited and temporary public health requirements remain necessary at this time.

I, as State Public Health Officer of the State of California, order:
  1. All individuals must follow the requirements in the Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings issued by the California Department of Public Health. I will continue to monitor the scientific evidence and epidemiological data and will amend this guidance as needed by the evolving public health conditions and recommendations issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and other public health authorities.
  2. All individuals must follow the requirements for Mega Events in the Beyond the Blueprint for Industries and Business Sectors issued by the California Department of Public Health. I will review the need for this guidance by no later than September 1, 2021, to determine whether it remains necessary, and I will continue to monitor the scientific evidence and epidemiological data and will amend this guidance as needed by the evolving public health conditions and recommendations issued by CDC and other public health authorities.
  3. All individuals must continue to follow the requirements in the current COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, the current COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Programs and Providers, and the portions of the current K-12 Schools guidance that have been made explicitly applicable to day camps and other supervised youth activities. I will continue to monitor the scientific evidence and epidemiological data and will amend this guidance as needed by the evolving public health conditions and recommendations issued by the CDC and other public health authorities.
  4. The California Department of Public Health will continue to offer public health recommendations and guidance related to COVID-19. However, aside from the mandatory guidance referenced in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, the other public health guidance related to COVID-19, issued by the California Department of Public Health, will not be mandatory. Instead, they will represent the Department’s best recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 based on the scientific evidence and epidemiological data. I strongly encourage Californians to follow such guidance to keep themselves, their families, and their communities healthy.
  5. This Order supersedes the August 28, 2020, State Public Health Officer Order, the July 13, 2020, State Public Health Officer Order, the May 7, 2020, State Public Health Officer Order, and the March 19, 2020, State Public Health Officer Order.
  6. This Order goes into effect on June 15, 2021, at 12:01 a.m.
  7. This Order is issued pursuant to Health and Safety Code sections 120125, 120140, 120175,120195 and 131080 and other applicable law.



Tomás J. Aragón, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Director & State Public Health Officer
California Department of Public Health


California Department of Public Health
PO Box, 997377, MS 0500, Sacramento, CA 95899-7377
Department Website (cdph.ca.gov)

SF Chron: California confirms state will reopen June 15 – no more social distancing, capacity limits

Bartender Ramon Piñon, left, mixes a drink for John Lister at Sea Star Bar, which reopened for business for several days in San Francisco on May 9 with capacity limits. The state will allow bars and other businesses to lift all restrictions June 15.
Bartender Ramon Piñon, left, mixes a drink for John Lister at Sea Star Bar, which reopened for business for several days in San Francisco on May 9 with capacity limits. The state will allow bars and other businesses to lift all restrictions June 15. Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle, by Erin Allday, May 21, 2021

California will definitely reopen on June 15 and almost all public health restrictions will be lifted, state officials said Friday, releasing the first highly anticipated details of what post-pandemic life will look like.

Overnight, the state will do away with all capacity limits and other social distancing requirements for businesses and other activities. Gatherings of all sizes will be allowed. And everything from buffet service to open bars will be able to resume in public spaces and private events.

A handful of restrictions will remain in place — most notably some masking rules, primarily for people who aren’t yet vaccinated. Counties may also maintain some local restrictions. But for the most part, Californians will be able to pick up where they left off last March, when the first orders shutting down large gatherings were issued.

“We have been for weeks forecasting that something very important happens on June 15 in California,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of California Health and Human Services, in a news briefing Friday. “The big message today is we’re at a place with this pandemic where the requirements of the past are no longer needed for the foreseeable future.”

Friday’s announcement was the first confirmation from the state that the June 15 reopening date is a sure thing. The state will retire its color-coded public health blueprint, instituted last August, which ordered varying levels of restrictions based on how much virus was spreading in a county.

Ditching the blueprint and lifting almost all public health restrictions was dependent on the state improving access to vaccines for all residents and keeping COVID-19 hospitalizations low, and California is easily meeting both of those metrics, Ghaly said. Daily cases and deaths are at or near record lows statewide; last week, the Bay Area reported four COVID-19 deaths a day on average, the lowest in the region since the first fatalities last March.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the planned reopening date in April, but since then details about what would actually happen were spare. County and business leaders increasingly had said they were having a hard time planning for that date without better understanding of what health restrictions might remain in place.

It turns out, almost none of them.

Masks are one exception. Face coverings will still be required for unvaccinated people, and for everyone in certain situations including in health care settings and on public transit. But the bulk of the mask mandate will lift on June 15 along with everything else.

The other notable restriction is for so-called mega indoor events — gatherings of more than 5,000 people, which would include Warriors games and large concerts. Organizers will be required to confirm that attendees are vaccinated or have a negative coronavirus test. Organizers of outdoor events with more than 10,000 people will be advised, but not required, to do the same.

“All limits on physical distancing, on capacity, restrictions around eating and drinking, open bars and buffets — will go away,” said Dee Myers, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “This will allow people holding conventions or weddings or selling out sporting events to advertise or market. Cultural events — all of those will be allowed, with certainty.”

There remains some uncertainty around workplace safety rules that are overseen by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health standards board, or Cal/OSHA. The board on Thursday delayed a vote on new rules that would end social distancing and masking requirements for vaccinated employees.

Most Bay Area counties have said they plan to align with the state reopening plan on June 15. But some county public health leaders have expressed reservations about fully reopening in just three weeks, and suggested that they may wait a little longer to allow very large gatherings, for example.

San Francisco public health officials said in a statement Friday that they were reviewing the state guidance and would say next week whether they planned to fully align with it.

San Mateo County plans to adopt the state guidance, but health officials remain wary of the potential for outbreaks among unvaccinated residents, said Dr. Curtis Chan, deputy director of public health. He said the county would encourage everyone to continue wearing masks in many indoor public spaces — such as grocery and retail stores — through the summer so that more people have a chance to be fully vaccinated. The county won’t make it a requirement, though.

“The June 15 date works for many individuals, particularly those who have been vaccinated. From a broader public health and a broader community perspective, we have concerns about people who have faced barriers to getting vaccinated,” Chan said. “Every couple weeks makes a big difference. So June 15 may almost be enough time, but for sure July 15 or Aug. 15 will be definitely enough time to get everyone vaccinated. Let’s make sure all our communities can cross that finish line and be protected.”

Ghaly acknowledged Friday that lifting restrictions would leave unvaccinated residents vulnerable to infection and “concerning outcomes.”

“We’ll be watching that very closely,” he said. “It’s not that we won’t see some isolated outbreaks, but we do have the tools to be able to manage that, to be able to keep those outbreaks to a minimum and keep any spread (of disease) pretty contained.”

Ghaly said he hoped that with the opening date now confirmed, and just three and a half weeks away, people who have been hesitating to get vaccinated consider getting shots right away. County public health officials similarly have said that they are redoubling efforts over the next month to increase vaccine uptake in communities that have lagged behind state averages.

State officials also confirmed Friday that they do not plan to issue or require vaccine passports, though they acknowledged that some businesses and event organizers may use them. The state will offer guidelines for how to implement vaccine passports in a way that protects people’s privacy and ensures equity, Ghaly said.

Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have plummeted in California as large portions of the population have been vaccinated. As of Friday, 48% of eligible residents — those 12 and older — were fully vaccinated, and 13.5% had received at least one shot of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccine courses.

About 1,300 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 — the fewest patients statewide since last March, when California began tracking that data.

“Over the past seven days we’ve had 260 new admissions. We wanted to be below 300 over a seven-day average and we’ve achieved that,” Ghaly said. “On both metrics — vaccinations and the state of COVID in our hospitals — we feel like we are tracking well toward meeting our goals on June 15.”

California public health juggling the numbers, easing restrictions too soon, doing away with color-coded tiers

Solano County Public Health overly optimistic

[Editor: Note five highlighted references to Solano County.  – R.S.]

California plans to retire color-coded tiers, as more Bay Area counties poised to enter orange

San Francisco Chronicle, by Aidin Vaziri, April 2, 2021
Sam Benson (left) serves water as co-partner Tanner Walle greets guests March 12 at Valley Bar & Bottle, a new wine shop, bar and restaurant in Sonoma.
Sam Benson (left) serves water as co-partner Tanner Walle greets guests March 12 at Valley Bar & Bottle, a new wine shop, bar and restaurant in Sonoma. Yalonda M. James / The Chronicle

California is preparing to retire its color-coded tiered reopening plan as vaccination rates improve and coronavirus cases continue to drop, state officials said Friday, as several Bay Area counties prepared to move into a less restrictive tier next week.

Details about a so-called green tier — which would presumably allow almost all activities to resume in counties with very low threat from the virus — will be “coming soon” as part of the state’s transition toward shutting down the tiered system entirely, said Dee Dee Myers, the state’s top economic adviser.

“We said we would reopen the economy as soon as it was safe to do so,” Myers said during a Friday briefing during which she and the state health officer introduced guidance bringing back indoor events and large private gatherings.

The optimistic update from the state came as cases continue to climb in other parts of the United States and public health officials nationally and locally advised extreme caution in reopening the economy.

Cases are still declining in California, though they’ve flattened in some counties, and the state plans to open vaccine access to everyone 16 and older in less than two weeks as supply improves. Only three counties — none in the Bay Area — remain in the most restrictive purple tier of California’s pandemic reopening plan.

The four Bay Area counties in the red tier, the second most restrictive, could all move to orange next week. Only Sonoma County is currently meeting the state’s orange tier metrics, but the other three — Contra Costa, Napa and  Solano  — could move too, based on an expected readjustment to the metrics tied to vaccine equity.

The new metrics could also allow San Francisco to move to the least-restrictive yellow tier a bit faster, though the earliest it would be eligible is April 13.

Sonoma County, which had been stuck in the purple tier for more than six months before moving to red three weeks ago, is poised to move into orange on Tuesday unless its numbers suddenly tank — as happened with Napa County last week, when it just missed moving to the orange tier.

“It’s hard to predict for sure, but at the moment, it looks likely that we’re on track to enter orange tier sometime next week,” said Kim Holden, a spokesperson for the county’s Public Health Department.

The move would mean wineries could open indoor tasting rooms and bars, and music and sports venues could open outdoors with limits. Sonoma County would join San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Alameda and Santa Clara counties in the orange tier. The state announces new tier assignments every Tuesday, and the relaxed restrictions take effect on Wednesday.

The three other Bay Area counties that remain in the red tier don’t currently meet metrics to move to orange. But they will once the state readjusts those metrics.

California announced a plan in early March tying the number of vaccinations in low-income communities to an accelerated reopening system. The tier assignments already were loosened once, when the state reached 2 million vaccinations in those communities. They will be further loosened when the state hits 4 million vaccinations.

As of Friday the state was at 3.7 million vaccinations in low-income communities. “It’s very possible that sometime next week we will be crossing that (4 million) threshold,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, the state health officer, on Friday.

Currently, counties need to report fewer than 3.9 cases per 100,000 residents, adjusted based on the amount of testing they do, to move to the orange tier. Contra Costa, Napa and  Solano  counties are all above that rate. But when the metrics are readjusted, the new maximum case rate for the orange tier will be 5.9 per 100,000. All three counties meet that metric.

“We are currently holding steady and well within the red tier at 5.5 cases per day per 100,000, and especially so when the state closes in on the 4 million doses,” said  Shai Davis, a spokesperson for Solano County’s health department . “We aim to see a downward trend in daily new cases and be able to progress to the orange tier when eligible.”

The tier adjustments also would lower the case rate for the yellow tier — from 1 case per 100,000 currently to under 2 cases per 100,000. San Francisco is meeting the second goal, but under state rules it must remain in the orange tier for at least one more week before moving to yellow.

Despite the encouraging signs, the  Solano County Department of Health and Social Services  on Thursday urged residents to continue to adhere to coronavirus mitigation measures through the upcoming religious and spring break holidays, noting an uptick of new cases.

“The rising number of COVID-19 cases is concerning, especially as we approach the holidays where the risk of spread can increase,” said  Dr. Bela Matyas, the county’s health officer , in a statement. “Being in the red tier does not mean we can let our guard down.”

Santa Clara County’s public health officials also cautioned vigilance as they are continuing to see increases in the number and proportion of confirmed cases of coronavirus variants.

“We’re already seeing surges in other parts of the country, likely driven by variants. Combined with the data we are seeing locally, these are important warning signs that we must continue to minimize the spread,” said Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County health officer.

As of last week, every variant of concern has been detected in Santa Clara County, including variants that are more infectious and may be partially resistant to vaccines. Officials said the county continues to face inadequate vaccine supply.

“If we can’t get more supply, and continued adherence to behavior like wearing masks, then we do anticipate another surge. I would hope it would be a swell, not a surge,” Cody said. She defined a swell as a less intense surge.

“We need people to hold on just a little bit longer,” she said. “Don’t indoor dine, don’t host an indoor gathering, don’t travel. Even if it’s allowed under the state rules, don’t do it. It’s not safe, not yet.”