A year ago Wednesday, California emerged from its pandemic lockdown as Gov. Gavin Newsom declared the state was reopened for business amid record low COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations at the time.
California since has experienced three new surges as new mutating variants of the virus emerged but with less serious results that health officials attribute to the state's high vaccination rates.
The night before the state reopened, Newsom made it clear reopening did not mean California had beat COVID, saying, "This is not mission accomplished."
Shortly after, many communities reinstated their mask mandates because of a surge in infections, and months later, variants delta and omicron brought back restrictions in many places.
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Here's where California stands one year after officially lifting the lockdown, according to the state's COVID-19 website:
- 9.1 positivity rate
- 41.1 new cases per 100,000 people
- 77 million vaccinations administered
UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong says the West Coast currently is riding out a smaller surge, and it will soon pass.
"Right now in the Bay Area, we are holding the state in very high numbers, but there is light at the end of the tunnel by some models," Chin-Hong said. "Of course, I can't predict, but my gut feeling is we will have a good July and August."
As always, the doctor recommends hand washing and getting a vaccination.