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New York's Covid State of Emergency Expired Thursday

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 16:57
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a safe staffing bill into law on Wednesday, the same day he announced that the New York's Covid-19 state of emergency would expire on Thursday.
Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo

Fifteen months after invoking emergency powers to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Wednesday that the state of emergency will end on Thursday.

"The emergency is over," he said at a press conference. "The state of emergency that I had declared . . . it will not be renewed."

Residents should still be "wary and vigilant" about the virus, and follow mask guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he said, but the combination of low infection rates and high vaccination rates means people can now focus on a "post-Covid" future. "Get a vaccine and get on with life," Mr. Cuomo said. 

The declaration of a state of emergency gave Mr. Cuomo broad powers to help contain the spread of the virus, including the ability to order business closures and an increase in hospital rooms, set up testing sites, provide resources for the cleaning of schools, and distribute vaccines. 

The expiration of the state of emergency comes a week after Mr. Cuomo lifted most of the remaining pandemic restrictions on retail stores, restaurants, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment centers, hair salons and barbershops, and personal care businesses.

"This doesn't mean Covid is gone," Mr. Cuomo said. "We still have to get more New Yorkers vaccinated, but we are getting back on track, and starting to live life once again." 

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