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Fireworks near the Statue of Liberty in New York City marking the end of New York State's pandemic restrictions in New York state and honoring frontline workers. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

New Yorkers and Californians celebrated most COVID-19 restrictions lifting on Tuesday, as the two states became the latest to move toward fully reopening their economies.

The big picture: The pandemic has now claimed over 600,000 lives in the U.S., but vaccines have helped drive down the seven-day average to roughly 14,000 new cases and fewer than 400 deaths per day, helping most states to ease restrictions.

Guests ride a roller coaster inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park near Los Angeles, following California's full reopening on June 15. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
A restaurant in Washington, D.C., on June 11, when capacity restrictions enacted during the pandemic on bars and nightclubs were fully lifted. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pike Place in Seattle, as it becomes the first major city to reach a 70% COVID-19 vaccination rate on June 10. Washington state is due to fully reopen on June 30 or earlier if it meets its goal of vaccinating 70% of the state's population. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images
A restaurant in Chicago on June 11, as the state of Illinois lifted nearly all COVID-19 restrictions. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
People enjoy the opening of the salad bar at Lambert's Market outside of Boston after the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Massachusetts on June 14. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Fans watching the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 2 on June 13 at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit. Michigan is due to ease a range of restrictions on July 1. Photo: Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
A cafe in Denver on June 15. Colorado ended most pandemic restrictions and lifted its face mask order in May. Photo: Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images
T.J. Osborne performs with the Osborn Bothers during the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam on June 6 in Panama City Beach, Florida. In May, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) ended the state's health restrictions. Photo: Michael Chang/Getty Images

Flashback ... In photos: How COVID-19 changed daily life in 2020

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more photos.

Go deeper

Aug 3, 2021 - Health

Israel reinstates COVID-19 restrictions as cases surge

Elderly residents wait to receive their third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a medical center in Tel Aviv on Aug. 2. Photo: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Israel announced Tuesday it will tighten public health measures due to surging in COVID-19 case numbers.

Driving the news: The latest restrictions come as Israel saw nearly 4,000 new daily cases reported on Tuesday, the highest count so far since the country began experiencing an uptick last month, the AP reports.

20 hours ago - Sports

In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 12 highlights

Team USAs Sydney McLaughlin in front of the timer after winning the 400m hurdles in record time at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Wally Skalij /Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Day 12 of the Tokyo Olympic Games saw American Sydney McLaughlin break her own world record to win gold in the women's 400-meter hurdles final on Wednesday.

Of note: Japan won a third Olympic skateboarding gold, as two teenagers and a 12-year-old swept the podium for the inaugural women's park skateboarding event.

22 hours ago - Health

Biden to GOP governors who resist COVID rules: "Get out of the way"

President Biden speaks at the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden spoke out Tuesday against Republican governors who've sought to block vaccine and mask mandates, as COVID-19 cases spike across the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden has tried to avoid making the pandemic a partisan issue, but the Washington Post notes the White House "has grown increasingly frustrated" with Republican leaders looking to obstruct health measures.