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Less than a week before state reopening, Californians express uncertainty

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) As the reopening date for California approaches, there is still some uncertainty when it comes to masking and social distancing requirements.

California is expected to fully reopen and move away from the tier system next Tuesday on June 15th. At that point, the state said it will lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements.

Some are still unclear on what the change will mean for businesses and members of the public, but the state is beginning to share more details.

During a media briefing Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the state is still on track to reopen on June 15 at 12:01 a.m., but also gave an update on mask guidance.

"This is another step in returning to normal and it's all largely due to vaccination," said Dr. Ghilarducci. "This is a success story.  but we're not completely protected."

Fully vaccinated Californians will not be required to wear masks in most situations. They will still be required to wear them on public transit, in transit hubs, in indoor K-12 school settings, in healthcare settings, in congregate living facilities, and in shelters. People who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to wear masks in indoor public settings.

Businesses will have three options for masks. They are:

  1. Give information stipulating requirements and allow for the public to self-attest their vaccination status.
  2. Operate a vaccination verification system.
  3. Require masks for everybody.

"We at the state level are giving all three options to private and independent operators to choose which is best suited for their community and their business," said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

Esther Solano, a business owner in Salinas said health officials need to have other methods of communications to make sure business owners like herself are aware of any updates. When it comes to masks inside her business, she said it's up to her customers to decide.

“If it were up to me, I would say it's their choice. If my customers want to wear one they can. For me personally, I would take it off. But I would continue to keep other precautionary measurements like using hand sanitizer," said Solano.

Requirements for employees are still subject to CalOSHA guidelines. The agency is holding a special meeting Wednesday, and board members are expected to reconsider its previous ruling that required workers to wear masks unless every employee in the room is fully vaccinated.

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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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