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COVID State Of Emergency To End In New York


(Photo: Office of the Governor)

NEW YORK, NY — Millions of vaccinations and declining coronavirus rates have brought New York into a “new chapter” in its fight against the coronavirus crisis, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The governor announced Wednesday that the State of Emergency that has been in place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic will expire this week and not be renewed, marking the end of the crisis mode that allowed the state government to respond with little restrictions to the pandemic throughout the last year.

“The emergency is over — it’s a new chapter,” Cuomo said. “The state of emergency expires tomorrow…It will punctuate the expiration of the emergency that we have been in because New Yorkers rallied and essential workers rallied.”

The announcement comes shortly after New York surpassed a milestone in its vaccination effort, ending coronavirus restrictions across the state. As of Tuesday, 71 percent of New York adults had received at least their first dose of the vaccine and 63 percent were fully vaccinated, according to the state.

Cuomo warned that the milestone will not mean the end of the state’s vaccination effort, particularly among young people. He announced Wednesday that New York will extend a scholarship raffle for young New Yorkers who get the vaccine another week and said the state will continue monitoring new coronavirus variants.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, including masks for unvaccinated New Yorkers, will still be in place, Cuomo added. Local governments will be responsible for enforcing the guidelines.

Still, the state’s rising vaccinations have come with rapidly declining coronavirus infection rates. On Tuesday, only 0.47 percent of coronavirus tests came back positive in New York, according to Cuomo.

New York’s new chapter also comes with a personal symbolic marker for the governor — the end of such daily statistics.

The daily press briefings that became famous during the pandemic, and earned Cuomo an Emmy award, will no longer include daily updates on the numbers, he said Wednesday.

“We are past the day-to-day monitoring of COVID,” Cuomo said. “We have reached a plateau that should give us confidence and success — a long time coming.”

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