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City Hoping Cases and Vaccinations Hit the Mark for June 15 Total Reopening

Published on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 | 4:22 pm
Dr. Ying-Ying Goh

The city’s health director said she hopes that Pasadena would be in a place to lift restrictions if Gov. Gavin Newsom’s June 15 plan holds up.

Newsom said on Tuesday that if cases don’t spike and vaccinations hold up all restrictions in California would be lifted in June.

“We certainly hope that case rates will be so low and vaccination rates so high that we would be in a good position to lift restrictions,” said Dr. Ying-Ying Goh.

The odds of hitting the mark increased on Tuesday, when President Joe Biden announced the vaccine would be available to all adults on April 19.

Pasadena has been making inroads in its fight against the virus.

The city has reported just one fatality in nearly two weeks and continues to ramp up its vaccinations.

As of Wednesday morning, the city’s dashboard reported 68,280 local residents have received at least one vaccination and 41,592 have been completely vaccinated.

Huntington Hospital is not treating any COVID-19 patients in its intensive care unit and 10 infected patients are still being treated at the hospital.

“We all want this pandemic to be over,” said Dr. Kim Shriner, an infectious disease doctor at Huntington Hospital. “The best way for this to happen is for people to get vaccinated when they can. I’m concerned about the variants making their way to cities throughout the country though and the expanded reopenings. We aren’t out of the woods yet.”

Despite that progress, the county’s weeks-long decline in COVID-19 case rates stalled according to numbers released on Tuesday. The stalled numbers prevent the county from advancing to the state’s yellow tier for at least three weeks.

The state’s weekly update put Los Angeles County’s seven-day average daily rate of new COVID-19 infections at 3.1 per 100,000 residents, the same level as last week.

But even if the city moves to the yellow tier, it won’t matter if Newsom lifts all restrictions on June 15, he will end the state’s tier system.

The decision to completely reopen in two months is largely being driven by the vaccine supply, which has been steadily increasing in the state and county. Los Angeles County this week was allocated nearly 400,000 doses, its highest level to date. That figure doesn’t include thousands more doses allocated directly to some providers in the county, such as pharmacies, large health care providers and the federally operated vaccination site at Cal State Los Angeles.

According to City News Service, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the June 15 date was chosen because its two months after COVID-19 vaccines are made available to all Californians aged 16 and over. And the decision to lift all the blueprint requirements comes in response to rising vaccination numbers and continued decreases in all key pandemic-tracking metrics, such as case numbers, positivity rates and hospitalizations.

“With all of that, we are at the stage where we’re ready to consider the next aspect of our pandemic response,” Ghaly said.

“The road to this moment hasn’t been easy. We have come together as Californians to save thousands of lives. And now we look at what is beyond that Blueprint for a Safer Economy that has been guiding California’s slow, public-health-minded transition and opening of our economy. … We look to get to that end of the blueprint.”

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