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California to drop social distancing requirements in June

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s top health official says the state no longer will require social distancing and will allow full capacity for businesses when the state reopens on June 15.

State health director Dr. Mark Ghaly said Friday that dramatically lower virus cases and increasing vaccinations mean it’s safe for the state to remove nearly all restrictions next month.

He said California intends to follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on wearing masks and traveling domestically and overseas.

California was the first state to issue a statewide shutdown as the virus emerged in March 2020 and at the start of 2021 it was the nation’s epicenter for the disease. Nearly 63,000 people have died from the virus in California, the most in any state in the nation.

Don Thompson, The Associated Press