Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) recently said that the state of emergency will remain in effect after his self-declared deadline to lift most restrictions.
The story: Newsom made the announcement on Friday, at an event where the state picked winners in California’s lottery-style COVID-19 vaccination incentive program. When asked if he would lift the state of emergency, which allows him to introduce and enforce pandemic-related restrictions and measures, Newsom said he would not.
“The emergency remains in effect after June 15,” the governor said.
When asked to explain his decision, Newsom said: “Because we’re still in a state of emergency. This disease is still in effect. It is not taking the summer off.”
He also suggested that he may need the state of emergency to respond with certain measures as the situation changes.
“Some modifications may need to be in order on the basis of changing conditions,” he said. “We never said we were never going to consider some modifications post-June 15.”
During the event, Newsom was also asked about what some said was a “confusing” recommendation, which the CalOSHA board appeared to approve, that would allow businesses to require masks in the workplace if everyone is not fully vaccinated. The move would essentially leave mask mandate in place.
Newsom was not able to provide a definitive answer.
“The dust is settling. They’ve got a subcommittee that’s meeting to follow up on some of the work. They’re moving in the right direction,” he said.
“We’re working through this. This is the sausage-making process. We’ve already had a number of conversations earlier this morning about people’s feelings about what happened last night. I think it’s helpful that the governor is not dictating and mandating those decisions in advance…We are in an iterative process of engagement…We hope to let folks know more about our next steps very shortly. Face coverings remain an important part of our arsenal to fight this disease,” Newsom added.
Why it matters? Newsom has been telling Californians for weeks that the economy in the state will reopen on June 15, which would include relaxing the current pandemic-related restrictions.
Worth noting: California will still reopen its economy on that day, nixing restrictions that limited business operations, as well as mask mandates.
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