Jun 15, 2021 - Health

New York lifts most COVID restrictions as state hits 70% vaccination threshold

Percent of adults who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
Data: CDC; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

At least 70% of New York adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday, meaning all state-mandated COVID-19 restrictions are lifted effective immediately.

Why it matters: Once the epicenter of the pandemic, Tuesday's announcement brings New York one step closer towards normalcy and a "return to life as we know it," Cuomo said.

Details: In almost all cases, the state will end capacity limits and no longer mandate social distancing or disinfection protocols, according to the New York Times.

  • Public venues like movie theaters, commercial buildings and barber shops will not need to ask their customers for contact tracing information.

What he's saying: "This is a momentous day — and we deserve it, because it has been a long, long road," Cuomo said, per NBC4 New York. "It's a day to look backward and remember where we were, but also a day to look forward to where we're going."

The big picture: New York joins fourteen other states and Washington, D.C. to reach the 70% threshold.

  • Vermont on Monday became the first state to have 80% of its eligible population receive at least one dose of the vaccine.

Yes, but: The U.S. reached a grim milestone Tuesday, against the backdrop of increasing optimism about the state of the pandemic, as the country's COVID-19 death toll surpassed 600,000.

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