People of California Tuesday celebrated the grand full reopening of the state, the worst-affected by the pandemic, after lockdown for more than a year.

The state had suffered the worst record in both the COVID metrics – 3,804,871 cases and 63,208 deaths – in the United States.

Governor Gavin Newsom welcomed the milestone at Universal Studios Hollywood, where he highlighted the attractions Californians can look forward to revisiting this summer. He also selected 10 lucky Californians to receive $1.5 million each as part of the final cash prize drawing in the state’s Vax for the Win program.

Starting Tuesday, the restrictions that have been in place over the past year were lifted. They include physical distancing, capacity limits, county tier systems and masks in almost all settings for vaccinated Californians.

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, masks are still mandatory on public transportation, in hospitals and jails, as well as at schools and child care centers.

Addressing the gathering at Universal Studios Hollywood, Governor Newsom said, “Today, we celebrate the incredible strength and resilience of Californians – from our heroic health care workers to essential workers across the board to everyday Californians from all walks of life – who have supported each other through hardship and heartache over the past year, making sacrifices to save countless lives and enable us to turn the page on this pandemic.”

One of the first U.S. states to take early action to address the pandemic head-on, California returned some of the best health and economic outcomes of any state in the country.

California is forecast to outpace the country’s economic recovery, ranked as the No. 1 U.S. economy for expanding GDP and raising household income.

California has been creating more jobs than any other state for three months in a row, adding 385,000 jobs. In April alone, the state created 38 percent of the nation’s jobs.

The state consistently has one of the lowest case rates and transmission rates in the nation, and hospitalizations dipped to the lowest point since March 2020.

More than 40 million vaccinations have been administered in California, surpassing the next closest state by 16 million.

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