California’s COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency officially ended on Tuesday, nearly three years after Governor Newsom issued the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home order.
The end of California’s order will have little effect on people’s everyday lives as most restrictions and mask mandates were already lifted. The state of emergency’s conclusion instead offers a symbolic marker for the end of a period that altered the lives of California’s 40 million residents.
The most recent weekly case rates by county reveal that infections are down by 21 percent in San Mateo County and down by 23 percent in Santa Clara County. At the same time, California hit a grim milestone in February – surpassing 100,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
With the state of emergency ending, access to COVID tests and vaccines is also changing. Mass vaccination sites are now closed in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties and several COVID-related dashboards will be retired. County officials are reminding the public that at-home tests are available at many stores and pharmacies and are free or reimbursable for most people. The federal government also offers free at-home test kits.
San Mateo will also continue to schedule local vaccination clinics for faith-based organizations and schools through March.