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NY now one of 18 states with half of adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Gov.  Andrew M. Cuomo provides a COVID-19

Gov.  Andrew M. Cuomo provides a COVID-19 update in the Bronx on Thursday. Credit: NY Governor's Office

New York is now one of 18 states where half of all adults are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to an announcement Saturday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office.

The state's rate is slightly higher than the nation's, as tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York's rate is 51.5% for those age 18 and older, and 61.4% with at least one dose, Cuomo's office said; the comparable national rate is 46.4% for full vaccination, and 59.4% with at least one dose, CDC figures show.

There are 17 other states whose adult population passed the 50% benchmark: Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Maine has one of the nation's highest vaccination rates, with 70% of adults there having gotten at least one dose.

President Joe Biden has set a goal of 70% of American adults having received at least one dose by July Fourth.

Nassau County has 71.1% of adults with at least one vaccination dose, according to the state's vaccine dashboard; Suffolk County has 63.5%.

Cuomo hasn't said whether he'll loosen the state's indoor masking regulations to align with the latest CDC recommendation that those who are vaccinated can generally stop wearing masks. Nassau Executive Laura Curran and others have urged this change.

Meanwhile, coronavirus infections continue to decline in New York, according to Cuomo’s office, and the state's case rate is about average for the United States, according to the CDC.

Excluding New York City, the average case rate over seven days per 100,000 people is 83.4, and 68 in the city, the CDC reported Saturday. The U.S. average is 72.5 cases.

Cuomo’s office said the seven-day average positivity rate statewide is 1.18%, the state’s lowest since Oct. 19. Patient hospitalizations were at 1,688, the lowest since Nov. 11, with 407 people in intensive care. And 23 people died Friday from the virus, including a Suffolk County resident. There were no deaths among Nassau residents reported.

Long Island’s infection rate averaged over seven days as of Friday was 1.02%, and the city’s was 0.98%; the highest rate was in the Finger Lakes region (2.77%), and the lowest is the Southern Tier (0.62%).

In the state's breakdown of new positive cases, Suffolk had 129 and Nassau had 114.

The CDC reported that the city has the nation’s second-highest seven-day death rate per 100,000, 2.4, with only Michigan reporting more deaths. Excluding the city, New York was roughly in the bottom quarter, with 0.8 per 100,000. (New York is the only state in the nation with a city that reports its figures separately to the CDC.)

As the pace of vaccinations has tapered off across the United States — it was once nearly impossible to get an appointment; now there are walk-in vaccinations, and tourists qualify too — jurisdictions have begun offering incentives. In the city, for instance, Mayor Bill de Blasio has promoted free fries, burgers, gift cards and the chance to win concert tickets.

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