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WATCH LIVE: New York State COVID-19 update for April 27, 2021

Darren McGee- Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo held his regular COVID-19 update briefing in Binghamton Tuesday. Watch it here.

New Yorkers who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to wear masks outdoors, and state-run vaccination sites will no longer require advance appointments, according to Cuomo.

Cuomo said the state is entering a new phase in the pandemic, as more than 30% of New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated. He said New York will adopt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that say fully vaccinated Americans no longer have to wear masks outdoors, except in certain crowded setting or venues. They will still have to wear them in public indoor spaces.

The governor also said all state-run vaccination sites will no longer require appointments and will be open for walk-ins for all New Yorkers who are 16 or older.

“We’re going to open up all state mass vaccination sites this Thursday to just walk-in vaccinations,” Cuomo announced while at a state-run vaccination clinic in Johnson City. “You don’t have to call; you don’t have to make an appointment.”

New Yorkers will still need to make a follow-up appointment if their vaccine requires a second dose. County health departments will also have the option of accepting walk-in patients.

Cuomo said getting vaccinated is a civic duty.

“Short, tall, Democrat, Republican, male, female, almost every major medical professional - and not just in the United States, worldwide - are taking the vaccine,” he said.

Demand for the vaccines has slowed in recent weeks. Cuomo said he hopes easing some of the obstacles, such as registering online, will help the state reach the herd immunity necessary to end other restrictions still in place.  

Here is the full list of the new rules for fully vaccinated New Yorkers:

·       Fully vaccinated workers no longer need to be restricted from work after an exposure as long as they are asymptomatic.

·       Fully vaccinated residents of non-health care congregate settings no longer need to quarantine after a known exposure.

·       Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.

·       Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.

·       Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues.

·       Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.

·       Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.

·       Refrain from testing after a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings.

·       Refrain from quarantine after a known exposure if asymptomatic.

·       Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible (in non-health care settings).

Tuesday’s event was the second in-person event Cuomo has held with reporters allowed to attend in as many days. Previously, he hadn’t held an in-person event since December.

He also talked about the results of the 2020 census. On Monday, the U.S. Census Bureau released its data showing that New York will lose a seat in congress.

As the governor pointed out, had 89 more people been counted, the state would keep the seat

"Do I think it was accurate to within 89? No. And we're looking at legal options. Because when you're talking about 89, I mean that could be a minor mistake in counting,” Cuomo said.

The U.S. Census Bureau also released a quality review of its data with the apportionment numbers. The acting director wrote that the results “meet our high data quality standards.”

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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