The light at the end of the COVID tunnel is rapidly approaching in New York as the state gears up to lift most restrictions that were put in place during the pandemic.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday, June 7 that once 70 percent of New Yorkers are vaccinated, the state will be removing the majority of its mandates as the country returns to a sense of normalcy after 16 months.
As of June 7, 68.6 percent of adults in New York have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“Not only is the (COVID) positivity rate coming down, vaccinations are going up and those two are linked. They’re opposite curves. As vaccinations go up, positivity goes down, and that’s what we’re seeing,” Cuomo said.
“We’ve done more shots in arms per capita than any state in the country. We’re at 68.6 percent … Wow, that’s great. But it’s not great enough. We've got to get to a point where COVID is not inhibiting our growth.”
Once the state hits 70 percent, all capacity restrictions will be lifted, social distancing will be limited, cleaning and disinfection protocols, health screening and contact information for potential tracing will all be lifted.
Cuomo noted that some mask requirements will remain in place, consistence with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including large venues, schools, mass transit, homeless shelters, and healthcare facilities.
During his COVID-19 briefing on Monday, Cuomo and his aides mused about when the state will hit 70 percent, with the dates ranging from next week to early next month.
“To (lift restrictions) we have to be at 70 percent. Then I feel comfortable saying to the people of this state that we can relax all restrictions,” Cuomo said. “We’re almost there, but this isn’t horseshoes. Then we can lift all remaining restrictions.”
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