It was only about six months ago that California leaders issued desperate pleas for residents to shelter in place as emergency rooms overfilled with COVID-19 patients. The state ushered in some of the strictest measures to counter the virus, closing beaches and outdoor dining, as it became the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. 

But now the nation's most populous state is reopening Tuesday, shedding most restrictions and promising an economic upswing as the country moves past months marked with death and economic devastation. 

"It's a new day," Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a news conference Monday, before the state's reopening. "This state is not poised to recover, it's poised, as was noted, to come roaring back." 

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