Cuomo says almost all COVID restrictions will be removed if 1.4% more New Yorkers get the first dose
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state will lift most COVID-19 restrictions when 70 percent of adults have received at least one vaccine dose.
As of Monday, 68.6 percent have been at least partially vaccinated, bringing the state just 1.4 percent below the threshold.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is to lift the remaining COVID restrictions, get to a point where COVID doesn’t inhibit our society, not our growth,” Cuomo said at a news conference Monday.
‘We have to be at 70 percent for that. If we get to 70 percent, I’ll feel comfortable telling the people of this state that we can relax pretty much all restrictions.”
Parts of the state are already planning their reopening, with New York City dropping all mitigation measures on July 1 and hosting a mega concert in Central Park in August to celebrate the end of the pandemic.
Gov Cuomo said at a news conference that New York could almost fully reopen once 70% of eligible New Yorkers are vaccinated
At the press conference, Cuomo said that when New York hits 70 percent, all capacity restrictions, social distancing mandates, health screening mandates, and cleaning and disinfection requirements are lifted.
However, some restrictions in schools, large venues, public transportation, homeless shelters, health care facilities and correctional facilities remain.
For example, New Yorkers will still be required to wear masks on public transportation, and students will still be required to wear masks indoors at school — while they are allowed to take off their masks outside.
Cuomo also said the state would continue to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, which include unvaccinated people wearing masks indoors.
The governor also said his strategy for giving the remaining unvaccinated New Yorkers a shot is to focus on younger people and on certain zip codes that have lower vaccination rates than their peers.
Currently, just under 11 million New Yorkers have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
About 11 million New Yorkers have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Many counties in the western parts of the state have fallen behind the counties in the east
Many of the counties on the west side of the state have fallen behind their cohorts on the east side of the state.
Demand for vaccines in general has fallen in recent weeks, both in the state and across the country.
After peaking at an average of 3.4 million a day in mid-April, the demand for vaccines has fallen to an average of about 500,000.
Health experts attribute the drop in vaccine demand to everyone who wanted the vaccine and had already received it, and the remaining group who are either hesitant to get the vaccine or encounter some sort of barrier.
About 24 percent of Americans don’t plan to get the vaccine, according to a recent Gallup poll, and more than three-quarters of that group are unlikely to change their mind about vaccination.
Cuomo has tried to boost demand for vaccines using a vaccine lottery, just as many states have done.
Last month, New Yorkers vaccinated at an eligible vaccine site from May 24 to 28 were given a free $20 raffle scraper.
New York City plans to hold a grand concert in Central Park in late August to celebrate the city’s reopening
As Cuomo looks at the final stages of the vaccine rollout across the states, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is already kicking off post-pandemic life in his city.
The mayor has enlisted Clive Davis to put together a lineup for a weekend music event, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 21 to celebrate the city’s reopening.
“This concert will be a unique opportunity,” said de Blasio.
“It’s going to be a great line-up. The whole week will be like you’ve never seen before in New York City.”
Davis told The New York Times he aims to recruit eight “iconic” stars for the show, which will run for three hours in front of 60,000 attendees.
“I can’t think of a better place than the Great Lawn or Central Park to be where you say New York is reopening,” Davis said.