Credit: Unsplash

Restrictions will now be considered on a county-by-county basis.

According to California state Governor Gavin Newsom, COVID-19-induced hospitalizations have been down by 20% in the last two weeks. As a result of this, and other signs of minor improvement, he announced Monday that the state-wide stay-at-home order would be lifted, and California counties would return to enforcing restrictions individually.

“We are in a position, projecting four weeks forward, with a significant decline in the case rates, positivity rates, we are anticipating decline still more decline in hospitalizations and more declines in ICUs and that’s why we are lifting that stay-at-home order effective immediately today,” he said.

With the state-wide order lifted, multiple businesses and institutions, such as restaurants and churches, will be able to open once again, albeit to a limited degree. Currently, outdoor business is permitted, though it will ultimately be up to local county officials to create and enforce stricter rules if they so choose. Alongside the stay-at-home order, the 10 PM to 5 AM curfew is also being lifted.

“Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer-term gains. COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it’s important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner,” Dr. Tomas Aragon, the state’s public health director, said in a statement.

However, while the overall trends of COVID-19 in California are improving, the state has suffered massive losses. As of this past weekend, California has had over 3.1 million confirmed cases of the disease, along with 36,790 confirmed COVID-induced deaths. According to California health officials, the vast majority of the state is still at risk of widespread COVID-19 community transmission.