The State of California announced it will be adjusting its reopening plan, allowing more sectors to open once the state’s “hardest-hit communities” are vaccinated.
The state will be focusing on these communities by distributing 40% of COVID-19 vaccine doses in these areas.
“Increasing vaccinations in our hardest-hit communities is both morally right, and good for public health, because it will slow the spread of disease,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, said in a press release. “Even with these changes, California will retain some of the most robust public health protections in the nation.”
When vaccines start being deployed to these areas, the guidelines for the “Blueprint For a Safer Economy” will be more lenient, allowing counties to more easily move down to less restrictive tiers.
The governor’s press office noted households that made less than $40,000 per year had been affected by the virus more than twice as much as households making more than $120,000 per year. The state also said wealthier areas had been vaccinated at a higher rate than lower income communities.
“With more vaccines online and administered, California is now in a position to take steps toward ending this pandemic by keeping our guard up and by vaccinating those Californians most at risk and most exposed,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “Vaccinating our most impacted communities, across our state, is the right thing to do and the fastest way to end this pandemic.”
Los Angeles County has been in the most restrictive “Purple Tier” and while it was close to moving down to the less restrictive “Red Tier” this week, the case rate numbers may allow it to reach the tier, depending on the new vaccine distribution plans.