New York Could Return To 'Life As Normal' By Tuesday With Vaccine Benchmark

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New York could remove nearly all remaining COVID-19 restrictions by Tuesday as the state edges closer to the 70 percent vaccinated benchmark.

New York City has begun planning a ticker-tape parade July 7 to celebrate frontline workers and healthcare professionals as the pandemic appears closer than ever to defeat in the Empire State.

Gov. Cuomo on Monday recalled the "frightening" early days of the pandemic and the wave of optimism in the Empire State today as the COVID vaccines have driven down cases of the virus.

"We have gone from that point to today, where New York has virtually the lowest positivity rate in the United States of America," Cuomo said. "There is a logic to it — the more people get vaccinated, the lower the positivity rate. And that's why we've been working so hard."

Cuomo announced last week that once 70 percent of adult New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose, most industry-specific guidelines — like capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening and obtaining personal information for contact tracing — will become optional for most businesses and organizations.

Facilities like schools, public transit, homeless shelters, large-scale event venues, correctional facilities, healthcare facilities and nursing homes will have to remain compliant for the time-being.

As of Monday, 69.9 percent of adult New Yorkers had at least one vaccine dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control, though the pace of vaccinations has slowed dramatically in recent weeks.

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