ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) – Governor Andrew Cuomo provided an update Wednesday afternoon on the state’s progress during the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor said while the state is trending in the right direction we all still need to stay smart and safe.
The governor provided an update on the recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single-shot vaccine. He said the state will receive more than 168,000 doses and will ramp up state vaccination sites to make sure the vaccine is distributed quickly.
State-run sites will move to a 24/7 model at these locations, but will only operate this way until the first shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines has been depleted. The site will return to normal hours after that.
The governor said, after the first shipment there will be a dip in production which will affect supply until production rebounds.
He also thanked the Biden Administration for increasing vaccination distribution for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which Cuomo says was increased by 70%. This will help in Biden’s plan to have enough vaccines for every American by the end of May.
The governor also said getting children back into classrooms is one of his top priorities. He said teachers deserve the right to feel safe and should have access to a vaccine.
Local governments are working with their school districts to determine how many teachers have been vaccinated and how many teachers are currently in classrooms.
The state will also ease restrictions on gatherings in the coming weeks. On March 22, the outdoor limit on gatherings will jump from 10 to 25. For public spaces, those limits go from 50 to 100 for indoor venues and from 50 to 200 for outdoor venues.
On April 2, the state will allow arts, event, and entertainment venues to open at 33%, with a 100 person cap indoors and 200 people limit outdoors. With testing, those limits go up to 150 indoor and 500 outdoor.
The state is also launching the Excelsior Pass Program app, this will allow people to upload test results to the app, with their permission, and then those tested can use the app as proof. People will still be able to use a printed test result as a record they were tested.