Governor Cuomo announced this afternoon (June 23, 2021) that the State of New York will no longer be under the COVID-19 State Disaster Emergency that was declared on March 7, 2020.

Tomorrow (June 24, 2021) the COVID-19 State Disaster Emergency will officially end all across New York State. The reason given was the amount of progress that has been made in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and how well New York is doing is the COVID-19 Statewide statistics.

In today's press release the Governor announced that we in New York State have had a record low of 0.36% positivity rate over the last 26 consecutive days and the decline has been consecutive for the last 79 days.

"Given New York's dramatic progress against COVID-19, with the success in vaccination rates, and declining hospitalization and positivity statewide."

Even though the State of Emergency will be lifted the Federal CDC guidance will stay in effect for New York. This means that even though we can relax our social distancing and mask-wearing there will still be instances where policies that follow the CDC guidelines will still be in effect. Most importantly if you are unvaccinated or ride public transit you will still need your mask.

This lifting of the State of Emergency means that for the first time in 15 months people living in New York can move forward from most of the restrictions that were put in place to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Governor restated that COVID is not gone but that we as a state have done a good job from the start in fighting the virus.

"New York went from one of the worst infection rates to the lowest infection rate in the country, and it was all because of the efforts of New Yorkers who were smart, united and did what they needed to do throughout this entire pandemic".

The lift of the restrictions that came with the State Disaster Emergency will come as a welcome relief to many in the Hudson Valley and throughout New York State. We can officially start looking forward to Summer 2021 and all we want to do with friends, family and with local businesses. We can get back to all things we love to do in our area and all around New York.

Do you have your pass?

How to Sign Up for New York's Excelsior Pass

Wondering how to sign up for the New York State Excelsior Pass to show your proof of COVID-19 vaccination? Here's a step-by-step guide.

If you have questions about the vaccine

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.