Cuomo Ends State of Emergency

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 24, 2021

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that the state of emergency that has been in effect in New York since the beginning of the pandemic will expire after today. The declaration means that a number of exemptions and modification to standard state law will expire.

For example, the New York Times reported that bars and restaurants will no longer be allowed to deliver cocktails or sell them to-go. This prohibition is seen as a boon to liquor stores but a blow to eateries that had been relying on drinks to get them through the pandemic. Crain's New York Business, meanwhile, noted that this also means the end of telehealth waivers, which lifted restrictions on matters such as cost-sharing, the kind of services that can be conducted and who can provide them and where. Gothamist added that it also means that the unprecedented power the governor held in this time, which included the ability to effectively write his own laws, will also end. Voice of America said that this also means that state and local government entities can decide their own respective public health measures, without being overruled by the governor. There are a wide variety of other implications to the expiration of the emergency measure as well.

Cuomo noted, however, that guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will remain in effect. This guidance, he said, includes "masks for unvaccinated individuals, as well as all riders on public transit and in certain settings, such as health care, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters. State and local government health departments will still be able to ensure mask rules and other health precautions are adhered to in those settings."

"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,"  Cuomo said. "Now we're starting to write a new chapter for a post-COVID New York—the state disaster emergency is ending and we can focus on reimaging, rebuilding and renewing our state. This doesn't mean COVID is gone, we still have to get more New Yorkers vaccinated, but we are getting back on track and starting to live life once again."

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