Written by Lucas Murawsky (News Writer)
Over the past week, California has been averaging a little over 1000 cases per day. This is a major decrease of 21% as of two weeks ago, allowing California to ease its restrictions, especially in Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz County hasn’t recorded any new cases in the past two days, allowing the county to meet the criteria for the yellow level tier with 1.0 new COVID cases per 100,000 people and a 0.5% positivity rate. Santa Cruz has only 73 active cases out of a population of over 273,000.
Santa Cruz’s cases continue to see a decrease allowing the county to be eligible for the “minimal” yellow tier, it allows the county to drop certain restrictions. This tier allows the county to expand its capacity in restaurants, gyms, bars, movie theaters, indoor businesses, hotels, churches, museums, zoos, and aquariums.
Santa Cruz County is not the only one that sees a decrease in cases, 13 other counties in California are now in the yellow COVID tier. 35 other counties are in the second-lowest orange tier, while 10 counties are still in the red tier.
Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will be allowed to reopen its economy and drop all capacity limits in stores, and social distancing requirements. On June 15th, all travel restrictions in California will also be dropped.
“This does not mean that local public health authorities, local health jurisdictions cannot or will not put in more strict guidance based on their local conditions,” said Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly of the Health and Human Services.
With half of California already fully vaccinated, infection rates and deaths have gone down tremendously, allowing for California to reopen. While the state is likely to drop all COVID restrictions on June 15th, there still will be slight restrictions on what is called “mega-events” which is an indoor party with more than 5,000 or an outdoor party with more than 10,000 people. Within these mega-events, the state would require proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid test in the past two weeks. Vaccine verification or a negative test are recommended, but not required, for outdoor mega-events.