NY loosens COVID restrictions as vaccine rollout ramps up, positivity remains low

Coronavirus
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As the seasons change, so do the coronavirus restrictions in New York.

The state is poised to end a ban on fitness classes on Monday. At the same time, restrictions on the last remaining yellow cluster zones in New York — located in the East Bronx; West Bronx; Manhattan; Kew Gardens; Forest Hills; Newburgh; and New Windsor — will be lifted.

Additionally, high school students in New York City will return to classrooms on Monday for the first time since November.

Last week, wedding venues and catering halls across the state were allowed to expand capacity to 150 guests or 50% of the venue’s capacity. Restaurants, meanwhile, were allowed to seat up to 50% of indoor capacity in New York City and up to 75% elsewhere around the state.

The loosened restrictions and reopenings come as more than 2.6 million New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state Health Department data. More than 7.4 million first doses have been administered statewide.

The state’s one-day percent of positive cases also remained relatively low on Sunday, at 3.22%. The seven-day rolling average was 3.3%.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the data shows New Yorkers have remained vigilant throughout the pandemic, but urged residents to not let their guard down.

“We’re in a race to get as many New Yorkers vaccinated as possible before the variants can disrupt the progress we’ve made, but the infection rate is also a function of our actions,” Cuomo said Sunday in a statement. “Washing hands, wearing masks and social distancing are vital tools we can use to stay safe and slow the spread. I urge New Yorkers to stay vigilant and keep making smart decisions — we’re moving through the COVID-19 pandemic, but it isn’t over yet.”

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