BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A major milestone could be coming this week. New York State is approaching the 70% mark for first dose vaccinations.
According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, that 70% threshold means a rollback of mostly all of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions.
At last check, there’s 69.7% of people 18-years-old and older in the state with at least one vaccine dose. Once we reach 70%, the state says, COVID-19 guidance for places like retail stores, food service, offices, gyms, salons, personal care places and many others — will be lifted.
Health measures like social distancing, health screening and contact tracing would become optional in most commercial settings. But, local health experts want to remind people this doesn’t mean we’re in the clear.
It’s still important to make sure you get vaccinated and not just one dose.
“It’s critical for people to remember that if you’ve received only one shot, you must get that second shot. That’s particularly important for some of the variants that are becoming increasingly frequent in our area — such as the one first described from Brazil and the most recent one from India the Delta variant because one shot might not get it done,” said Infectious Disease Expert of the UB Jacobs School of Medicine Dr. Thomas Russo.
There are exceptions to the state’s rollback. COVID-19 health protocols will still be in place for large-scale event venues, schools pre-k to 12, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care facilities.
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Unvaccinated people are still required to keep a social distance of 6-feet and wear a face mask.
Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.