Long Island Has Highest Vaccination Rate in NY, State Celebrates Reopening

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement during a news conference at the World Trade Center in Manhattan on Tuesday, where he also honored essential workers who worked throughout the pandemic. (Courtesy Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

As New York State celebrates crossing the milestone of 70 percent of adults having at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, Long Island leads the state with 75.3 percent of its adult residents vaccinated with at least one dose.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that all state-mandated Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted following the news of the vaccination rate reaching above 70 percent. Restrictions across commercial and social settings will be lifted immediately, while some limitations based on guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remain in place, including mitigation measures in public transit and healthcare settings.

“It is an important milestone, and we’re going to keep pushing to do more,” Cuomo told a news conference, adding that the state would continue to encourage more New Yorkers to get vaccinated.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran expressed pride and optimism in a statement regarding the reopening.

“Today is a historic day. We’ve traveled a long journey as New Yorkers, and I’m proud that Nassau has helped lead the way,” she said. “With the highest vaccination rate among large counties in New York, Nassau is set to come roaring back. Life is returning to normal, businesses are reopening and thriving again — progress we’ve achieved together. Our comeback has only just begun.”

Curran encouraged residents to check the state website for clarification on the new lifting of state mandates and to see which CDC precautions are still in place. Cuomo also said individuals and businesses could still choose to adopt some precautions.

The governor, who won praise in the early days of the pandemic for his televised news conferences but later became entangled in accusations of sexual misconduct, abuse of power and allegations of mishandling nursing homes during the crisis, made a triumphant entrance at the World Trade Center in New York City on Tuesday to mark what he called a “momentous day.”

“New York State has fully vaccinated a larger share of adults than any other big state in the country,” he told a cheering crowd that included first responders and hospitality workers.


On Tuesday night, fireworks all across the state will celebrate the milestone, including at Jones Beach State Park, Cuomo announced, and the Empire State Building and other state landmarks will be lit in blue and gold, New York’s colors.

Most U.S. states have moved to ease or lift coronavirus restrictions as the virus abates and vaccinations progress. New York joined California, where restrictions including physical distancing, mask requirements and capacity limits for restaurants, stores and other businesses that cater to consumers end on Tuesday.

-With Reuters (Reporting by Maria Caspani and Jonathan Allen in New York, Editing by Will Dunham, Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Berkrot)

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