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Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday, May 3, 2021, the date that he plans for New York State to "fully" reopen. During a press briefing, he said the state will reopen on Wednesday, May 19. Most of the capacity limitations put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic will be lifted. According to the Governor's website, outdoor capacity limitations will be 500 as of May 10 and indoor limitations will be 250. The outdoor residential limit will be lifted completely and the indoor residential limitation will increase to 50 people. The capacity for indoor large-scale venues will increase to 30% and the capacity for outdoor large-scale venues will be 33%. People will still be required to have proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.

Governor Cuomo said,

"The tide is turning against COVID-19 in New York, and thanks to our increasing vaccination rates, as well as our successful, data-based regional approach, we're able to take more steps to reopen our economy, help businesses and workers, and keep moving towards returning to normal. Maintaining this progress is critical and in order to keep moving in a positive direction, New Yorkers must continue to take all the proper precautions. If we let up now, we could slide backwards and that is something nobody wants."

If you haven't been vaccinated yet and are ready to do it, you do not need to make an appointment at an Erie County Health Department vaccine clinic. You can visit the Health Department's website to get more information.

I had a chance to speak with Dr. Gale Burstein, the Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Health, about where we stand currently in getting Western New Yorkers vaccinated. So far 45 percent of Erie County residents have received their vaccine and 50 percent of eligible Erie County residents have taken their first dose.

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