NEW YORK – Coronavirus regulations in New York State will be lifted once 70 percent of adults are vaccinated.
That’s according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who announced the new goal on Monday.
He says New Yorkers will still be required to wear masks in certain settings like subways and hospitals, but Cuomo touted his announcement as a step closer to “life as normal.”
Cuomo aides hope New York could reach that 70 percent target for adults, which mirrors President Biden’s own goal, in coming days, even as fewer residents are getting vaccinated statewide.
“So, how do you get the vaccinations up? And the vaccination rate has slowed dramatically, which is obvious,” said Cuomo. “The higher you get, the fewer people there are to get vaccinated. And the lowest vaccination demographic is still the 12 to 17 because they just became eligible and we just spent a year telling them this is not really about you. It’s about older people. So we’re trying to get it up into 12 to 17 group.”
The 70 percent goal is the minimum level that scientists have estimated may be needed for herd immunity, when the uncontrolled spread of the infectious disease through the population is stopped.
Cuomo said even when New York reaches the target, public health precautions will still apply in certain settings like large-scale event venues, pre-K to 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes and health care settings.
However, Cuomo says the state would lift any remaining health screening, contact tracing, cleaning, disinfection, capacity and social distancing rules elsewhere in New York.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.