All counties now out of purple tier for first time as state opens up vaccine eligibility


SACRAMENTO (KGET) — The state’s plan to fully reopen the economy by June 15 is getting closer to becoming a reality. 

With exactly two months away from the target date, the state Department of Public Health reported this week that all counties are now out of the purple, most restrictive tier for the first time since it implemented the tier system. 

There are 22 counties in the red tier, 33 in the orange tier — including Kern — and three in the yellow tier as of Tuesday, according to the state. 

The milestone comes as COVID-19 vaccine eligibility was opened up today to all California residents 16 and up. Nearly half of all residents have already received at least one dose of a vaccine, including nearly 74 percent of seniors aged 65 and older, according to the state. 

“Today’s vaccine eligibility expansion is a major milestone in our state’s fight against the pandemic and another step on the path to reopening fully in the coming months,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “Thanks to the hard work of Californians who followed public health guidelines, our case rates and hospitalizations are among the lowest they’ve been since the start of the pandemic. Vaccinating all of those who are eligible will take time, but our statewide providers are ready to meet the increased demand and we are excited to get this vaccine into the arms of all Californians who want them, especially those in the hardest hit communities.” 

In Kern County, 154,211 people are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data. Another 96,362 are partially vaccinated and are waiting to receive their second shot. 

Newsom said vaccine supply and hospitalizations are the main factors that will determine whether the state will move forward with reopening the economy on June 15. 

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