COVID in NY: State of Emergency to end after over 15 months, Cuomo says

Street sign about covid urges motorists to follow social distancing rules

A flashing sign near the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn urges motorists to avoid gatherings, reduce crowding and to wash hands on March 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

NEW YORK — New York’s State of Emergency, issued more than 15 months ago when COVID-19 first overwhelmed the state, will finally come to an end, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

The COVID State of Emergency is set to expire on Thursday, and the governor said he would not renew it.

It’s another sign of progress as New York continued to report a virus positivity rate well below 1% and a decline in hospitalizations. 

Virtually all COVID restrictions in New York were lifted earlier in June after the state surpassed its benchmark of 70% of adults with at least one dose of a vaccine.

However, federal guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remain in effect, Cuomo said Wednesday. For now, New Yorkers still have to wear masks in schools, public transit, large venues, homeless shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, jails and prisons.

New York Senate Republican leader Robert Ortt welcomed Cuomo’s announcement Wednesday afternoon, calling it “long overdue news.”

“The progress we’ve made wouldn’t have been possible without thousands of front-line workers, business owners and everyday New Yorkers who sacrificed so much over the past year,” he said in a statement. “Now it is time for us to turn our undivided attention to the economic recovery and the rising crime wave devastating major metro areas all across the state.”

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