New York State to lift remaining restrictions when state hits 70% COVID-19 vaccination rate

Virus Outbreak New York
Posted at 11:59 AM, Jun 07, 2021

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday, June 7, the remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted when the state hits 70% COVID-19 vaccination rate.

The NYS vaccination rate on June 7 was 68.6%, and grew to 69.9% by Monday, June 14. The governor said when the 70% COVID-19 vaccination rate is reached remaining restrictions will be lifted across commercial and social settings which include:

  • Capacity restrictions
  • Social distancing
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Health screening
  • Contact information for potential tracing

The state says the 70% vaccination rate is for those who have received at least one dose.

As the state approaches a 70% first dose vaccination rate, Cuomo said the focus is on youth and the bottom 10% of vaccinated zip codes.

“I want local governments to pay attention to these zip codes," Cuomo said. "Get in there go door to door, go to churches, go to social events, go to community events.”

The state listed several Western New York zip codes with areas that have vaccination rates in the bottom 10%. It includes the 14211 zip code in Buffalo, the vaccination rate there is just below 35%.

Allegany County has the lowest vaccination rate in all of New York. Their county average is just over 36%. Ten Allegany County zip codes are among the 50 lowest-vaccinated zip codes in the state in terms of percentage.

The 14726 zip code in Conewango Valley in Cattaraugus County has the lowest vaccination rate of any zip code in WNY at 14.4%.

University at Buffalo Jacob's School of Medicine Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Thomas Russo said accessibility is a key way to improve vaccination rates.

This may involve mobile vaccination units, or opening up new vaccination sites or pop-up clinics in more rural areas where it’s been more challenging to get individuals vaccinated,” Russo said.

He said promoting the vaccine's safety and effectiveness needs to be an ongoing effort.

"There remains significant misinformation primarily on social media, but other sources as well," Russo said. "So we continually need to inform individuals about the significant benefits vs. risks of vaccination.”

The mask requirements for unvaccinated individuals remain in place, consistent with CDC guidance.

According to the state, the following institutional restrictions will remain in place until more New Yorkers are vaccinated:

  • Large venues
  • Schools
  • Public transit
  • Homeless shelters
  • Correctional and healthcare facilities

When asked on June 7 how long it would take the state to reach the 70% vaccination rate, Cuomo said he believed it would take eight days.