On Tuesday, June 15th, Governor Cuomo announced that 70% of New Yorkers aged 18 and older have received at least one dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Because of this, the Governor announced that the remaining restrictions have been lifted across all commercial industries, such as food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, retail, hair salons and barber shops, personal care services, amusement and family entertainment, and more. However, large-scale indoor event venues, pre-K – 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care setting must still adhere to the existing CDC COVID-19 guidance. Also, unvaccinated individuals are still responsible for continuing to wear a mask or facial covering, per CDC guidance.
The Governor said, “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. We led with nurse Sandra Lindsay, who was the first at Northwell to take that vaccine and assure people it was safe. We’ve gone on to do more than 20 million vaccines, more per capita than any big state in the United States of America. Congratulations to New Yorkers because they are the ones who did it. We’re no longer just surviving – we’re thriving. The state mandates that have proven right and brought us through this pandemic are relaxed as of today, effective immediately.”
Following the reopening announcement, after almost a year and four months, the Governor lifted the COVID-19 State of Emergency on June 24th. With the State of Emergency lifted, the Governor’s emergency powers and Executive Orders, which included various directives such as capacity limits and alcohol to-go have also expired. “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,” the Governor said in his press release where he announced ending the state of emergency. “Now we’re starting to write a new chapter for a post-COVID New York – the state disaster emergency is ending and we can focus on reimagining, rebuilding and renewing out state. This doesn’t mean COVID is gone, we still have to get more New Yorkers vaccinated, but we are getting back on track and starting to live life once again.”