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Cuomo Says New York Is One Step Closer To Vaccination Milestone

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Mike Groll
Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is one-tenth of a percentage point away from his goal of having 70% of New Yorkers age 18 and over obtain at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Cuomo said Sunday’s vaccination numbers show the rate at 69.9%. But, he said, the percentages vary greatly by zip code, with rates in some low-income urban and rural areas as low as 38.8%. The governor said local governments need to focus on those areas and give it "one more push."

“Go door to door,” Cuomo said. “Go to churches, go to social events, go to community events.”

The governor said when the state’s vaccination rate reaches 70% for people age 18 and over getting at least one dose, he plans to hold a celebration. Currently, the number of adults who were fully vaccinated as of two weeks ago, is lower, at 60.1%.

Cuomo, speaking Monday at an event in Syracuse, also announced that because statewide positivity rate continues to be low — 0.41% on Sunday — the New York State Fair will open later his summer at 100% capacity. He said social distancing will still be practiced whenever possible, and unvaccinated people will be asked to wear a mask, though no one will be asked for proof of vaccination.

“That is on the honor system,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo and State Fair officials said they will likely downsize the current mass vaccination site at the fairgrounds and are considering scaling back other sites, where Cuomo said the activity has slowed to a “trickle.” He said there will still be vaccinations available at the fair and other more targeted locations around the state.

On Sunday, 617 New Yorkers remained in the hospital with COVID-19, and seven died from the virus.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.