Officials with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have ended the Regional Stay at Home Order.
California lifted the order for all regions statewide, including the three regions that had still been under the order: San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area and Southern California.
This action allows all counties, statewide, to return to the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and color-coded tiers that indicate which activities and businesses are open based on local case rates and test positivity.
"Californians heard the urgent message to stay home as much as possible and accepted that challenge to slow the surge and save lives," says Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH director and state public health officer. "Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer-term gains. COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it's important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner."
While there are positive signs that the virus is spreading at a slower rate across the state, the pandemic is far from over. Californians must continue to wear masks when they leave their homes, maintain physical distance of at least six feet, wash their hands frequently, avoid gatherings and mixing with other households, follow all state and local health department guidance, and get the vaccine when they're able.
The Regional Stay at Home Order urged Californians to stay home except for essential activities, which helped lower disease transmission levels and reduce burden on the hospital system.
California deployed more than 4,100 medical professionals to facilities across the state to ease the burden on frontline health care workers.
The administration of vaccines to health care workers has meant that fewer health care workers are falling ill to the virus, which helps keep staffing levels more stable.
"California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we've been hoping for," says California Health and Human Services secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. "Seven weeks ago, our hospitals and front-line medical workers were stretched to their limits, but Californians heard the urgent message to stay home when possible and our surge after the December holidays did not overwhelm the health care system to the degree we had feared."
Because case rates remain high across most of the state, the state's Hospital Surge Order remains in place to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.