New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that the State would lift most remaining COVID-19 restrictions when 70% of adult New Yorkers had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. On June 15, 2021, Governor Cuomo held a press conference to announce that New York had reached the 70% first-dose threshold. Accordingly, COVID-19 guidance from the State health department and the New York Forward industry-specific reopening guidelines are now entirely optional for most businesses—including retail establishments, offices, and other commercial settings.
The requirements that are now lifted include social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact tracing. Governor Cuomo stated during his press conference that these guidelines are now “voluntary” and that “the mandates are gone.” New York previously permitted employers to adopt CDC guidance that no longer requires vaccinated individuals to wear masks in most settings.
Highly Contagious Delta Variant Could Cause Next COVID-19 Wave
Whether it’s airports, NBA games, or concerts, crowds are gathering across the nation as Americans start a return to pre-pandemic life. But with just 45% of Americans fully vaccinated and only 16 states that have fully vaccinated more than half of their populations, health experts are worried about the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. It is 60% more contagious than the Alpha variant discovered in the U.K., which was the last variant of major concern, according to infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm.
“In the areas where they have large pockets of unvaccinated people, we can surely expect to see surges in cases, in some situations challenging the health care capacity of that local area,” Osterholm told “CBS This Morning” lead national correspondent David Begnaud.