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Cuomo: At 70% vaccination rate, NY will relax 'virtually all' COVID restrictions

Gov. Andrew Cuomo giving a COVID-19 update from Albany. (CNYCentral){p}{/p}
Gov. Andrew Cuomo giving a COVID-19 update from Albany. (CNYCentral)

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Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York is nearing the finish line when it comes to relaxing most of its COVID requirements. This, as the governor said there will be a new push to increase vaccination rates for zip codes that are falling behind.

The governor also announced new guidance relative to masks for students in schools during a COVID-19 briefing on Monday.

On the topic of vaccinations, the governor said once New York reaches 70% of eligible citizens vaccinated, the state will rescind "virtually all" COVID-related restrictions.

As of Monday, the state's vaccination rate stood at just over 68%. Once the 70% threshold is reached, he says the state will relax many points of guidance related to capacity limits, social distancing and health screenings. Masking would only be required as recommended by the CDC.

"We hit 70%, we will be back to life as normal, or as normal as you can be post-COVID," he said.

There would still be some institutional guidelines in place related to locations like nursing homes and schools.

The state's latest push, the governor said, focus on zip codes around the state that have the lowest percentages of people vaccinated. Of New York's 1,755 zip codes, the bottom 10% have vaccination rates below 36%.

Cuomo is calling on local governments to focus their efforts on low-performing zip codes.

"Focus your resources there," he said. "That is where we have the greatest chance for advancement, and the local governments have the resources."

Meanwhile, the governor announced Monday new guidance relative to masks and students in school. Cuomo said the state will allow schools to choose whether or not students will be required to wear masks while outdoors. This, he says, aligns school guidance with camp guidance.

Students would still be required to wear masks while indoors.

This weekend, the governor announced that the state has reached a new record-low COVID positivity rate at 0.47% across the state. According to the CDC, New York has more shots in arms per capita than any other major state in the U.S.

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