Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing the end of New York’s COVID-19 State of Emergency on Wednesday, June 23rd. (Image: Governor’s office)
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he will formally end the 15-month-long emergency declaration he imposed to beat back the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given New York’s progress in vaccinating residents and lowering hospitalization rates, the governor said the state of emergency will expire after Thursday, June 24. It was declared on March 7, 2020.
"New York went from one of the worst infection rates to the lowest infection rate in the country, and it was all because of the efforts of New Yorkers who were smart, united and did what they needed to do throughout this entire pandemic," Cuomo said in a statement announcing the news.
The governor had previously loosened many of the state’s remaining pandemic restrictions last week. But the official ending to the state of emergency was an important symbolic step toward moving beyond a pandemic that has killed more than 53,000 New Yorkers across the state.
"Now we're starting to write a new chapter for a post-COVID New York--the state disaster emergency is ending and we can focus on reimaging, rebuilding and renewing our state,” Cuomo’s statement continued. “This doesn't mean COVID is gone, we still have to get more New Yorkers vaccinated, but we are getting back on track and starting to live life once again."
Federal CDC guidance remains in effect, including recommendations that unvaccinated individuals wear masks. The CDC also recommends continued mask usage when riding public transit or visiting institutions like, health care facilities, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters. State and local health departments will still be able to enforce mask rules and other health precautions in those settings.
New York State’s Liquor Authority announced on Twitter that a popular executive order allowing bars and restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages to-go or via delivery would end after Thursday.
More than 70% of adults across the state have now received at least one vaccine dose. The state’s 7day average positivity rate was .36% on Wednesday, approximately on par with the .35% rate across New York City and slightly higher than the .31% rate in Brooklyn.