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Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker

United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Photo: James D. Morgan via Getty Images

United Airlines said Wednesday that over 97% of its U.S.-based employees are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a company memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: United announced in August that it would require its 67,000 U.S.-based employees to get vaccinated by Sept. 27 or face termination. It's one of several airlines that set vaccine requirements even before President Biden issued his own vaccine mandate for employers with over 100 workers.

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

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