vaccinated
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks while making an announcement during a news conference at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, New York, U.S., May 24, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling are not letting Covid-19 hamper Memorial Day with a plan to offer free two-day passes for vaccinated New Yorkers to enter state parks such as Jones Beach.

Singing the praises of controversial figure Robert Moses in the development of Jones Beach, Cuomo did not discount the attraction to Jones Beach for its potential to incentivize remaining unvaccinated individuals as daily jabs slow to about 63,443 per day.

“So things are looking good we’re reimagining we’re rebuilding, but we have to maintain our containment of the beast, and that is the vaccines, and the vaccines are dropping off two groups, the youthful and the doubtful,” Cuomo said. “Ten million New Yorkers have taken the vaccine. It has been proven internationally, almost every major medical official in the country will tell you, take the vaccine and so those are the two groups we’re targeting.”

Cuomo, perhaps attempting to appeal to the more sentimental nature of the holiday, branded the effort as a good way to honor essential workers who labored through the pandemic despite the risks to their health, not to mention the fact that many will be heading to state parks regardless.

“Jones Beach is perfect to driving in, you have to go right past the vaccine center. Stop. Get a vaccine, you get a two-day free pass to come into any State Park. This is for all 16 parks across the state,” Cuomo added.

Dowling had more to say on the conditions of facilities within the umbrella of Northwell, the largest healthcare system in the state, in that vaccinations must go full force in order to banish the virus for good. This may have to start in the most convenient location, according to Dowling.

“We are going to bring the vaccine to where you are going to be. It is our obligation and everybody’s obligation everybody who’s watching to basically say … I’m going to leave here today and we’re going to convince three people that I know are hesitant to get the vaccine. Because we want to put this behind us, we want to rebuild the economy, we want to get back to a new normal,” Dowling said. “In the meantime, now we put COVID in the rearview mirror. We say goodbye to it. We’ve had enough of you (COVID) for a year and a half. To hell with you now, you’re gone. Vaccinate.”

In total, up to 8,788,874 New Yorkers have received the full course of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state.

Those who wish to receive the vaccine and a free two-day pass to any state park can drive up to the Jones Beach vaccination site from May 24 through May 31, or visit one of these pop-up sites on Long Island:

Heckscher State Park: June 5
Hempstead Lake State Park: June 6
Robert Moses State Park: May 29 & May 30
Sunken Meadow State Park: May 29 & May 31

-With Briana Bonfiglio

This story first appeared on amNY.com.

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus.

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