Will California reopen June 15? Health officials weigh in

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — California’s top health official Dr. Mark Ghaly is weighing in on the plan to fully reopen the state June 15, and what California could look like beyond the Blueprint.

But some other health experts have concerns about the plan.

This discussion with Ghaly and other health experts was at an event hosted by the Sacramento Press Club.

California leaders are confident in the state’s ability to move past the virus, regardless of what’s happening in other countries.

“We are still targeting June 15,” Dr. Ghaly said.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Friday the state is still poised for a full reopening in less than two months, regardless of the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Ghaly said the state set the June 15 date aware of the issues with COVID-19 mutations in other parts of the nation and in other countries.

While several variants have been found in California cases, state leaders are encouraged by the vaccine’s protection against them.

“So far the variants we have been concerned about have largely been entirely responsive to the vaccine, we don’t have a variant that completely escapes our vaccines.”

Speaking at the Sacramento Press Club event, California’s top health official explained what California could look like beyond the Blueprint in October.

“Many of the things that we’ve missed we’ll be able to do again. The big difference though is we will likely not have our youngest children vaccinated, so we will still need to protect young people.”

But in a response panel with other health experts, COVID Action Group Founder Yaneer Bar-yam says California needs to stop being reactive to the virus instead of proactive.

Bar-Yam has advocated for lockdowns to completely suppress the virus like other countries have with continued vaccination and constant testing.

“If we wait, we’re basically guaranteeing the disease will become endemic cycling year after year,” Bar-Yam said.

As California moves away from restrictions, Ghaly says the state will continue to do high level disease investigations for the foreseeable future.

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