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State lifts COVID restrictions as 70% vaccination milestone is reached

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces that the state has reached the vaccination goal that allows it to...
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces that the state has reached the vaccination goal that allows it to drop pandemic restrictions.(WWNY)
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 12:51 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (WWNY) - “This is a momentous day and we deserve it,” Gov. Cuomo said as he announced that all of New York’s COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, “effective immediately.”

It’s the result of hitting the 70 percent vaccination benchmark. That’s the percentage of adult New Yorkers who have received at least one vaccine dose.

“It means that we can now return to life as we know it,” Cuomo said.

“So, all the state-mandated restrictions are lifted on commercial, social settings, sports and recreation, construction, manufacturing, retail, buildings – all across the board,” he said. “We can get back to living and businesses can open because the state mandates are gone.”

CDC restrictions continue for schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and health care institutions.

Speaking at One World Trade Center in New York City, the governor reflected on the dark days of the pandemic. “We had people dying from COVID before we knew what it was,” he said.

“It was probably the most frightening moment that we had gone through,” he said.

“What New York has done is extraordinary,” he said. “We went from worst to first,” noting that the state’s positivity rate was 48 percent at the height of the crisis and is now .4 percent.

The state’s 70 percent milestone was reached before President Joe Biden’s goal of reaching that level of vaccination nationwide by the Fourth of July.

“We hit the national goal ahead of schedule,” Cuomo said.

“That’s not to say 70 percent is the end,” he said. “We want to do better than 70 percent, but it is an important milestone.”

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