ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Governor Andrew Cuomo said COVID number trends in the state are headed in the right direction. He also announced new programs for small businesses, tenant relief, and a program that would give 12-to 17-year-olds chances to win a scholarship to a public college or university.
At one point N.Y. had some of the highest infection rates in the U.S. It is now one of three states boasting the lowest infection rates, Gov. Cuomo said Tuesday. The national positivity rate is 2.6% while N.Y.’s is 0.7%.
The number of New Yorkers going to get vaccinated has dropped off significantly in recent weeks. The Governor said it was going to be difficult to reach 62% vaccinated, currently 55.5% of New Yorkers are vaccinated.
To serve as an incentive for 12-17-year-olds to get vaccinated, Gov. Cuomo announced a program that will award 50 four-year scholarships over five weeks, that include tuition, room, and board to a SUNY or CUNY school. Anyone in this age group that’s either fully vaccinated or has gotten at least one shot is eligible for the scholarship.
Teens who have already gotten a shot or are fully vaccinated are eligible for the scholarship drawing. A winner will be announced every Wednesday through July 7.
N.Y. is also making available $800 million to help small businesses and a tenant relief program that will be eligible to an estimated 200,000 low-income households. Both programs will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis. The small business relief program will start accepting applications on June 10, the tenant relief program will begin accepting applications on June 1.
Venues that want to open to 100% capacity can do so if they require all people to be vaccinated, Gov. Cuomo said. Venues with a specific section for vaccinated people can also open those to 100% capacity.