Cuomo announces NY ending Covid-19 disaster emergency after 15 months

Posted 23 June 2021 at 1:40 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York will end the state disaster emergency declared on March 7, 2020 to fight Covid-19. Given New York’s dramatic progress against Covid-19, with the success in vaccination rates, and declining hospitalization and positivity statewide the state of emergency will expire after Thursday, June 24.

Federal CDC guidance will remain in effect, which includes masks for unvaccinated individuals, as well as all riders on public transit and in certain settings, such as health care, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters. State and local government health departments will still be able to ensure mask rules and other health precautions are adhered to in those settings.

Since March of 2020, a variety of actions had been taken by executive order to assist in the rapid response to the pandemic by state agencies, local governments, hospitals, and businesses by both temporarily suspending or modifying laws as well as utilizing temporary directives. Hospitals were able to add space and staffing, meetings were authorized to occur virtually, and various deadlines were extended to accommodate a changed landscape.

“New York went from one of the worst infection rates to the lowest infection rate in the country, and it was all because of the efforts of New Yorkers who were smart, united and did what they needed to do throughout this entire pandemic,” Cuomo said. “Now we’re starting to write a new chapter for a post-COVID New York–the state disaster emergency is ending and we can focus on reimaging, rebuilding and renewing our state. This doesn’t mean Covid is gone, we still have to get more New Yorkers vaccinated, but we are getting back on track and starting to live life once again.”

(Editor’s Note: In the past week, Orleans County has reported 1 new Covid case and now has had 3,121 people test positive for Covid since March 2020. In Genesee County, there are 4 new cases since June 16, and Genesee has now had 5,439 people test positive during the pandemic.)

Marcus Molinaro, president of the New York State County Executives’ Association, issued this statement:

“Today, we learned from a tweet that the Governor will end the Covid-19 State of Emergency, effective tomorrow.

“This is yet another important milestone signaling the approaching end of a pandemic that so many heroic Americans have battled for over 16 grueling months.

“On behalf of the counties of New York, in addition to all those who played a critical role, I thank the leaders and government employees who were too often the unsung heroes in this pandemic. They all worked tirelessly, day and night saving lives and rebuilding our communities.

“Counties across New York led the local response to this catastrophe. County leaders were the on-site incident commanders, leading local emergency response, and our local health and mental health departments were the tip of the spear in administering the testing, tracing, and vaccination efforts that made this day possible.

“And, on behalf of all county governments, I extend our heartfelt prayers to those who lost loved ones. We are committed to recovering and rebuilding in their memory and honor.”