NY will lift more virus rules once 70% have a vaccine dose

NEW YORK (AP) — New York will lift more COVID-19 rules once 70% of adults have at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, a target that Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he hoped his state could reach in days.

And the Empire State building will light up in blue and gold once New York hits the threshold, Cuomo said.

About 68.7% of New York adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the latest federal data.

A smaller percentage of New York’s overall 20 million residents have received at least one dose: so far, 56% — or 11 million residents.

New York administered 483,000 doses in the seven days through Saturday, down from nearly 619,000 over the previous week.

Cuomo said even when New York reaches the 70% target, COVID-19 rules will still apply in certain settings like large-scale event venues, pre-K to 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care settings.

Unvaccinated people will still have to wear masks and stay six feet (about 1.8 meters) from others on subways and buses, for example.

But Cuomo said the state would lift any remaining health screening, contact tracing and cleaning and disinfection rules elsewhere in New York.

Last month, Cuomo said businesses in New York would no longer have to limit the number of people allowed inside based on a percentage of their typical capacity.

Meanwhile, New York City will celebrate its emergence from the COVID-19 shutdown with a massive Central Park concert on a yet-to-be announced date in August, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The concert will highlight a homecoming week and will feature an all-star lineup of performers who will be recruited by music producer Clive Davis, de Blasio said. “It will emphatically make the point, there is no stopping New York,” he said.

New COVID-19 cases are continuing to plunge in New York City and statewide as a slowing pace of New Yorkers are getting vaccinated against the virus.

The state’s daily average for new cases has now fallen to 567 on a seven-day average, the lowest daily average since the pandemic began. That’s down from an average of more than 16,300 cases per day in early January.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.


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