by Photo courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted all but five percent of COVID-19 related executive orders and provisions while maintaining response and recovery efforts.

Newsom’s office issued about 70 executive orders containing 561 provisions since the beginning of the pandemic, but 30 of the executive actions remain in effect to ensure COVID-19 workplace standards and bolster California's testing and vaccination programs. 

As part of the state’s SMARTER Plan, Newsom's office said it will continue to focus on lifting additional provisions as they are no longer needed for the ongoing pandemic response.

“California’s early and decisive measures to combat COVID-19 have saved countless lives throughout the pandemic, and as the recent Omicron surge made clear, we must remain prepared to quickly and effectively respond to changing conditions in real-time,” said Governor Newsom in a press release. “As we move the state’s recovery forward, we’ll continue to focus on scaling back provisions while maintaining essential testing, vaccination, and health care system supports that ensure California has the needed tools and flexibility to strategically adapt our response for what lies ahead.”

According to Newsom's office, those that remain are critical to the state's SMARTER plan. Under the order signed by Newsom, 19 of the remaining provisions are terminated immediately, with an additional 18 to be lifted on March 31 and 15 to expire on June 30. 

Of those still in effect, 17 aim to bolster the state’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs and prevent potential strain on the health care delivery system, according to a press release.

Thirteen other provisions still in place are related to COVID workplace safety.

“California’s health care delivery system remains deeply strained because of the pandemic,” said Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association. “Hospital capacity is still stretched beyond normal as people who delayed needed care are now being seen, and 20 percent of health care workers have left the field. Today’s extension of a certain key, temporary flexibilities means that hospitals can continue to use things like tents to receive and triage patients and retain out-of-state health care personnel to maximize care capacity throughout the state.”

On Friday, Newsom signed a proclamation that terminated 12 state of emergency declarations, which automatically terminate any associated executive orders relating to those events.

Newsom began lifting many of those orders last summer after declaring the state had “reopened” following a decline in new cases and hospitalizations. More orders were issued during the winter amid the omicron surge. 

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