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State to distribute COVID vaccines to SUNY, CUNY

Jackie Orchard / WAMC
The University at Albany converted its parking lots for COVID-19 testing in October.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that New York state will distribute 35,000 COVID-19 vaccines directly to state’s and New York City’s public colleges and universities — where some schools have already begun offering the vaccine — with the aim of vaccinating as many college students as possible before the end of the spring semester.

Cuomo said the state will ship vaccines directly to campuses.

“We will be giving direct allocations to schools, colleges, and universities, so they can vaccinate their students in their facilities,” Cuomo said. “Let’s stamp this beast to death while we can.”

As of April 6, any New Yorker 16 years and older is eligible for the vaccine. Cuomo says private colleges will also be allowed to participate in the vaccination effort.

The governor on Monday also issued new guidance for graduation and commencement ceremonies. Effective May 1, limited capacity will be allowed at indoor and outdoor ceremonies, depending upon the size and venue.

"For events that exceed the social gathering limits of 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors, event organizers and venues must notify the local health department and require attendees to show proof of a recent negative test result or proof of completed immunization prior to entry," according to the guidance.

Additionally, large outdoor events of more than 500 people will be limited to 20% capacity, medium-sized events of 251-500 people will be limited to 33% capacity and small events up to 200 people will be limited to 50% capacity.

Indoor events have different capacity limitations. For large events over 150 people, maximum capacity is 10%, for medium-sized events of 101-150 people 33% and for small events up to 100 people 50%.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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