Newsom: California has the lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in the U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON/AP) – Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday said California is now reporting the lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in the U.S.

The news comes just a few days after California loosened restrictions statewide, clearing the way for people to attend indoor concerts, theater performances and NBA games for the first time in more than a year as the rate of people testing positive for the coronavirus in the state nears a record low.

The rules are different for private indoor gatherings, including weddings, meetings or conferences. Those are only to be allowed if all guests test negative for the coronavirus at least 72 hours in advance or show proof of full vaccination. The changes do not mention requiring proof of vaccination and put much of the enforcement on business owners and operators.

California Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón said Friday the state will follow the federal government’s lead but said vaccinations won’t be required for essential services.

California’s new rules come as the state has administered nearly 19 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. Nearly 6.9 million people are fully vaccinated in a state with close to 40 million residents. Only people 50 and over are eligible statewide to get the vaccine now, followed by those 16 and older on April 15.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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