NY COVID restrictions will lift when state hits new vaccine benchmark, Cuomo says

Coronavirus

NEW YORK — A new benchmark for lifting most of New York’s remaining COVID-19 restrictions was set by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday.

The governor said New Yorkers can expect a return to “life as normal” when 70% of adults have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

“Or as normal as you can be post-COVID,” he added.

As of Monday, 68.6% of adult New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose.

When asked how long it might take for the state to close the 1.4% gap in the vaccination rate, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker estimated it could happen in early July. 

“We’re very close,” he said.

State Budget Director Robert Mujica suggested it could be as early as mid-June.

Cuomo said the state will focus on getting the 12- to 17-year-old population vaccinated and ramp up outreach in areas with low vaccination rates.

When the state hits that benchmark, Cuomo said “virtually all” restrictions and safety requirements across commercial and social settings will be lifted, including remaining capacity limits, social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting mandates, health screenings, and contact tracing.

However, mask requirements will remain in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Some restrictions will also continue in places such as schools, large venues, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities and health care facilities.

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