New York’s COVID-19 state of emergency ends Thursday

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After more than a year, New York’s COVID-19 state of emergency will end on Thursday. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo used his executive powers to declare the emergency and make decisions about business closures and COVID safety protocols. State Sen. Dan Stec said in a statement the decision to end the state of emergency is long overdue.

“Now the focus has to turn to our economic recovery, helping businesses recover and grow,” Stec said. “Getting people back to work and emerging from the challenges of this past year stronger and hopefully better prepared.”

Local governments and businesses can issue their own mask rules. North Country Assemblyman Billy Jones believes it’s important people get back to their normal routines.

“I think just everyone wants to get back to socializing, seeing people, you know getting out to events, working, seeing people in person,” Assemblyman Jones said. 

The state has administered over 20 million vaccines, with more than 70% of New Yorkers receiving at least one shot. Jones said the North Country is ready to ease restrictions because case numbers are low. 

“And our vaccination rates are high,” he said. “We want them higher but they are up and we haven’t had any outbreaks,. Things seem to be going well.”

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