New York on Thursday lifted the COVID-19 State of Emergency that Governor Andrew Cuomo declared in March 2020 to contain the spread of coronavirus.
“New York’s COVID-19 State of Emergency will end tomorrow (Thursday). Fighting COVID and vaccinating New Yorkers are still top priorities, but the emergency chapter of this fight is over,” Coumo wrote on Twitter.
“New York went from one of the worst infection rates to the lowest infection rate in the country, and it was all because of the efforts of New Yorkers who were smart, united and did what they needed to do throughout this entire pandemic,” he said at a news conference.
Only 474 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized in New York, which made substantial progress in combating the virus. The state’s positivity rate has come down to 0.34 per cent.
New York, which was the worst-affected state in the U.S., lost 42,942 lives due to the pandemic.
Coumo lifted the state of emergency a week after easing COVID-19 restrictions as 70 percent of adult New Yorkers received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccine and the rate of new cases plummeted to the lowest levels in the nation.
The State’s health guidance and New York Forward industry specific guidelines — including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing — are now optional for retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services, among other commercial settings.
Unvaccinated individuals continue to be responsible for wearing masks. Also, the State’s health guidelines continue to be in effect for large-scale indoor event venues, pre-K to grade 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care settings.
“What New York has done is extraordinary. Not only do we have the lowest COVID positivity rate in the United States of America, we have hit 70 percent vaccination ahead of schedule. We successfully deployed the weapon that will win the war, and New York led the nation,” Governor Cuomo said.
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey D. Zients praised New York government’s fight against the pandemic. “In communities across New York, the deadly Coronavirus is in retreat thanks to the state’s progress on vaccinations. New York went from being one of the hardest-hit states in the country to being one of the leading states in its effort to combat the virus because of a vaccination program that made it easy and convenient for New Yorkers to get vaccinated, state and community leaders who worked hard at the local level, and millions of New Yorkers who rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated.”
With the removal of the State’s minimum standard for reopening, businesses are free to choose to lift all or some restrictions, continue to adhere to the State’s archived guidance, or implement other health precautions for their employees and patrons. Businesses are also authorized to require masks and six feet of social distancing for employees and patrons within their establishments, regardless of vaccination status.
As per the latest CDC data, 71.2 percent of adult New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 63.5 percent have completed their vaccination.
A total of 20,702,818 vaccine doses have been administered in the state until Wednesday. Out of this, 52,526 doses were administered over past 24 hours.
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