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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

June 15, 2021

All Californians

Staying Ready – California’s COVID-19 Preparedness & Equity Strategies

​Reopening California does not mean health officials will put down our guard and stop tracking COVID-19 transmission patterns or relax our overall preparedness. We have worked too hard, built up too much to not remain prepared. To that end, as California moves Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, our state will remain ready for whatever COVID-19 throws our way in the weeks and months to come. Specifically, we are ready in the following areas:  

  • Vaccine Administration: California is vaccinating all eligible and willing Californians, and strives to reduce disparities in vaccine coverage. Having administered tens of millions of doses, we are still vaccinating thousands of Californians each day. We have the infrastructure, the staff, and the experience to continue vaccinating in all 58 counties. We are also well prepared to vaccinate Californians under the age of 12 as soon as they are eligible and to administer booster shots, if they are necessary. 

  • Laboratory Testing[i] & Surveillance: With equity in mind, California has built up tremendous, fast turn-around, widely available testing capability.  We will maintain this capacity into the future. We have many surveillance testing strategies throughout the state and perform whole genome sequencing on more than 10% of positive tests. California will vigilantly track COVID-19 and its variants across our state. 

  • Disease Reporting and Monitoring: California will continue to collect and track COVID-19 data with a keen eye on those most impacted by the pandemic, working to address disparities each step of the way.   

  • Case Investigation, Contact Tracing, and Outbreak Control: California built up local and state capacity to adequately provide contact tracing.  Public health capacity to respond to cases, contacts, and outbreaks for disease control will be available for the rest of the pandemic. 

  • Isolation and Quarantine: As transmission rates decrease, California's capacity for isolation and quarantine will remain in place to be mobilized when services are required beyond what is easily available in the community.   

  • Healthcare System Monitoring and Preparation for Surge: California continues to monitor hospital admissions and trends. We also maintain adequate resources to mobilize surge capacity, if needed, across the state. This includes facilities, staffing contracts and personal protective equipment and other supplies. 

  • Safe School Reopening: All students should be safely back to full in-person instruction on school campuses this summer and fall. The Safe Schools Team is expanding to further support local districts and partners to monitor COVID-19 transmission and keep schools safe and open. 

  • Maintain Guidance on Masks and Mega Events: California will maintain guidance on where masks are required or recommended, consistent with CDC guidance, and will continue to impose limited negative testing or vaccination requirements on indoor mega events involving more than 5,000 people, as they are considered higher risk for COVID-19 transmission.

[i] On June 7, 2021, CDPH updated its testing guidance. In summary, the guidance provides:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals do NOT need to undergo screening testing in non-healthcare workplace settings;

  • In long-term care facilities (skilled nursing facilities and adult and senior care facilities) staff do NOT need to undergo screening testing if 70% of staff and residents are fully vaccinated;

  • In hospitals staff do NOT need to undergo diagnostic screening testing if 70% of staff are fully vaccinated; and

  • Generally, diagnostic testing should be considered for all individuals with symptoms or exposure to COVID-19.

Consequently, fewer healthy or asymptomatic people will be tested as the focus turns to testing individuals displaying symptoms of COVID-19. The state expects that testing volume will continue to decrease overall and that test positivity will increase as more people with symptoms are tested. When this happens that does not mean cases are rebounding; it means that when only people who are symptomatic are tested, more disease will be identified over a smaller denominator.