NEW YORK NOW – New York could lift most COVID-19 restrictions in the coming days when the state’s vaccination rate increases by less than two percentage points, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
Cuomo said that once 70% of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of a vaccine, the state will lift those restrictions. As of Sunday, 68.6% of New Yorkers had received at least one dose.
“Then we can lift the capacity restriction, social distancing, the hygiene protocols, the health screenings, the potential tracing. Masks will only be required as recommended by the CDC,” Cuomo said.
“There’ll still be some institutional guidelines. Large venues, schools, public transportation, hospitals, nursing homes. But we hit 70%, we will be back to life as normal, or as normalized as you can be post-COVID.”
Cuomo said that, to reach that number, county and local health departments should target zip codes with the lowest rates of vaccination. Those are spread throughout the state, from Buffalo to Brooklyn.
For context, New York’s vaccination rate at the same time last week was 65.2%, so if that trend continues, the state could reach its goal of 70% in the next few days.
At the same time, New York’s COVID-19 indicators have continued to drop. The state reported less than 800 hospitalizations from the virus Monday for the first time since last October, and the positivity rate is now consistently below 1%.