NY COVID restrictions will be lifted when 70 percent vaxed

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised that he will lift “virtually all” COVID-19-related restrictions once 70 percent of New York state residents have received a jab. 

Currently, more than two-thirds of New York’s adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Cuomo said Monday, citing federal data.

“It is great. But it’s not enough. And we have to do more,” Cuomo said during a press conference in his Manhattan office, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data that shows 68.6 percent of New Yorkers have gotten a shot.

“The light at the end of the tunnel is to remove the remaining COVID restrictions, right? Get to a point where COVID is not inhibiting our society, not inhibiting our growth,” he added. “When we hit 70 percent, then I feel comfortable saying to the people of this state we can relax virtually all restrictions.”

People without masks avoid social distancing on a hot day at Sheep Meadow, Central Park on May 22, 2021
People without masks avoid social distancing on a hot day at Sheep Meadow, Central Park, on May 22, 2021.
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Cuomo said he plans on “targeting” the zip codes with the lowest vaccination rates to increase the number of residents vaccinated there.

The state’s own vaccination tracker website shows a lower vaccination rate — 54 percent have received one shot, and 47.1 percent are fully vaccinated. But the CDC data includes federally administered shots, such as those administered in prisons and by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Cuomo said that when the 70 percent milestone in accordance with federal data is reached, mask requirements, physical distancing rules, hygiene protocols, health screenings and capacity restrictions will be lifted in most settings.

People dance near the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park on May 22, 2021 in New York City.
People dance near the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park on May 22, 2021, in New York City.
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

“There still will be some institutional guidelines,” Cuomo said, adding that some precautions will be kept in place in large venues, schools, public transportation, hospitals and nursing homes.

In the five boroughs, 63.6 percent of adults have gotten at least one shot and 55.5 percent have completed their vaccines series, according to city data.

In Manhattan, 72 percent of residents have been jabbed, while just 55 percent of Bronx residents have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose and 58 percent of Brooklynites.

People without mask walk at Times Square on May 19, 2021 in New York City.
NYC residents who are fully vaccinated will not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, except where required by federal or state regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
John Smith/VIEWpress via Getty Images

Asian and Pacific Islander New York City adults are the most vaccinated demographic in the city, with 78 percent of adults in the group receiving at least one dose, according to city data. Meanwhile, 53 percent of white Big Apple residents, 48 percent of Latino/ Hispanic New Yorkers and 36 percent of black people in the five boroughs have gotten at least one shot.

Earlier Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio during his press conference announced that the city will be raffling off six-packs of 30-day MetroCards to 10 lucky New Yorkers who get their jab at a city-run vaccination site this week.

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