95% of NY adults have at least one shot, governor says

Governor Kathy Hochul
Governor Kathy Hochul(WWNY)
Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 11:48 AM EST
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - New York state has reached a milestone in its battle against the coronavirus.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced in an address Friday that 95 percent of New Yorkers over 18 have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m so proud of the individuals that stepped up and did their part to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” she said.

“But one dose isn’t going to be enough,” the governor said, urging people to get their second shots and boosters.

Even though COVID-19 cases continue to climb and the omicron variant is spreading rapidly, she said, “this is not the same situation we had in March of 2020 or even last winter’s surge.”

She pointed out that testing and vaccines are readily available now.

“With a lot of testing, the upside is we’re getting a handle on where the cases are and how we can control that spread,” the governor said.

Hochul said the state -- based on CDC recommendations -- is changing the guidance for when essential workers can return to their jobs after testing positive for COVID.

They can now return to work after five days -- instead of the previously required 10 -- if they’re fully vaccinated and no longer showing symptoms. And they have to wear a mask.

That, she said, will get essential workers back to work more quickly, “so these critical services that New Yorkers need -- health care, transportation, and grocery stores, all these things that we’ve identified as important -- that they can get back to work as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The governor also announced new rules for state prison visits. Starting Monday, all visitors must be fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID test within 48 hours of their visit.

“This is a population where this would run through like wildfire,” she said.

She said at-home tests will be available at the facilities sometime in the next week and visitors will have access to at-home tests starting January 3.

Governor Hochul also announced 13 new COVID testing sites across the state, two of which are in the North Country.

Starting Monday, a new testing site will operate at the Maple Ridge Center at 7421 East Road in Lowville, and at Citizens Advocates, 324 Creighton Road in Malone.

Maple Ridge Center will be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 AM - 2 PM and Fridays from 9 AM - 12:30 PM.

Citizens Advocates will be open for testing Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 AM - 4 PM.

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