With the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus becoming the dominant strain across the country, state officials in New York are cautioning local communities to be wary and “act seriously” to help curtain the spread.
More than 75 percent of New Yorkers have received the COVID-19 vaccine, however, approximately 3.5 million remain unvaccinated as the state continues to see a rise in new cases.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday, July 26 that it is now up to local officials to take control by encouraging area residents to get the vaccine to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Right now, these decisions (on the Delta variant) are left to localities. We have not declared a state takeover of local control, which is something I did early on in the pandemic,” he said. “We have to deal with it intelligently and can’t have a patchwork of policies.
“We’re not at the point where the legislature has passed legislation to allow state action, so it’s up to localities.”
On Sunday, July 25, there were 1,982 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in New York, compared to 346 a month earlier on June 26.
According to health officials, the vaccination reduces the risk of hospitalization by 94 percent, and just 0.15 percent of vaccinated New Yorkers have had a breakthrough COVID-19 infection.
“We’ve learned the lessons, we’ve been there, done that. So I urge localities to take it seriously and act seriously, especially public-facing employees,” Cuomo added. “They should take this very seriously. So we’re going to target the communities in the areas with the least vaccinations and it’s up to localities to do that statewide.
“I urge localities to act now. It is a local decision, unless God forbid the numbers get so bad that there’s another state emergency crisis and the state has to take over, which I don’t even want to think about.”
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