NY pushes to get college students vaccinated

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In-person students on all of the State University of New York campuses will be required to have received a full dose of COVID-19 vaccines, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference today in New York City. The governor said that students must get vaccinated before returning to campus in the fall.

College students in New York are already required to prove they are vaccinated against several infectious diseases, including measles, mumps and rubella.

Cuomo said that state is also encouraging private colleges to require vaccines this fall. Cazenovia College announced on Monday, prior to the governor’s speech, that it would require students to be vaccinated before returning for the fall semester, joining most private colleges in the central New York region.

During his briefing, Cuomo said 24.7% of New Yorkers age 16 to 25 are fully vaccinated, the lowest percentage of any age group in the state — compared to more than 73% of state residents age 65 to 74.

The vaccine requirement requires the federal government to grant full, regular approval to the COVID vaccinations on the market. Those vaccines have been approved through emergency use authorizations, which, Cuomo said, prevent the state from requiring anyone to get them. The governor said he expects such federal approval prior to September.

Monday began the easing of some social gathering restrictions across the state, in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The easing of restrictions includes replacing business capacity limits based on percentage of maximum occupancy with the space available to maintain six feet of social distancing; increasing the outdoor social gathering limit to 500 as of Monday, May 10, according to state guidelines.

Looking forward, on May 19, restrictions on the region’s businesses, venues and gatherings, and the indoor social gathering limit will expand to 250.

By June 19, the state will begin to pilot reduced social distancing at large-scale indoor event venues in assigned, seated sections that are designated solely for fully vaccinated individuals.

Oneida County

On May 9, Oneida County tallied 13 new positive cases of COVID-19 and no new related deaths.                    

There were eight patients hospitalized in Oneida County with four at Mohawk Valley Health System and four at Rome Health. There were four patients hospitalized out of the county.

County officials say that vaccination appointments and walk-ins are currently available at multiple Oneida County-operated vaccination PODs.  

For more information and to book an appointment, visit www.ocgov.net.

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