The students at the State University of New York and the City University of New York must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend classes this fall.
This requirement, which affects more than 435,000 full-time students, comes as New York state officials offer plenty of incentives aimed at encouraging people to be immunized as vaccine demand is declining. “So, today, no excuses,” Cuomo said at a briefing on Monday. “SUNY and CUNY boards will require vaccinations for all in-person students coming back to school in the fall.” Cuomo also announced that riders will receive free seven-day passes to the New York City subway for being vaccinated at station sites who will dispense vaccines from Johnson & Johnson starting on Wednesday.
The Long Island Rail Road and Metro North will offer two system-wide one-way passes for riders who receive a vaccination at their station site, Cuomo added. “So think about this,” the governor said. “You are walking into the subway station anyway. You are walking past the vaccination site. It’s a one-shot vaccination. Stop, take a few minutes, get the vaccine.” Cuomo reserved tickets for the upcoming New York Islanders National Hockey League playoff games for vaccinated fans. The requirements and incentives come as New York showed major progress against the virus since a surge in January, with hospitalizations down 75% and its positivity rate down 82% at 1.4%.
While more than 60% of adults in New York have received at least one dose of a vaccine, Cuomo, who is the National Governors Association chair, said the virus was declining not only in New York but across the country. Some New York schools, including private schools such as Cornell University and New York University, already require COVID-19 vaccinations for students who are returning to school this fall, with exemptions for medical and religious reasons. Governor Cuomo did not note medical or religious exemptions for his mandate, he said he would propose legislation “that says you can’t discriminate against a person who has a vaccine.”
On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City announced that many city attractions, such as the Lincoln Center, the Bronx Zoo, and the Staten Island Ferry, will offer free admission for those who have received vaccinations. “It’s true that the supply has finally gotten to a point that it exceeds the demand,” de Blasio said. The tactic for reaching the unvaccinated populous will include more incentives and making the vaccines more accessible with mobile units, said de Blasio. As of Sunday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 45.8% of the country’s population of those 18 years of age and older had received at least one dose.
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