New York’s state of emergency will end Thursday, after nearly 15 months of executive orders designed to respond to the Covid-19 crisis and affecting nearly all walks of life.
Under emergency powers granted Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, executive orders covered events from the operation of schools, businesses, government agencies, public gatherings, travel to other states, elections, distribution of vaccines, nursing homes and hospitals and more.
The lifting of the state of emergency comes nearly six months after the end of a brutal 2020 that for thousands of people, was the worst year of their lives. Hundreds of Huntington residents died of Covid-19, leaving thousands to mourn, while thousands of others fell sick. Virtually no one was untouched by the new rules that came into force.
But as the vaccination rate has grown, deaths and new infections have plummeted, ending most restrictions and leading to a return to pre-pandemic near normal.
“Fighting COVID & vaccinating New Yorkers are still top priorities, but the emergency chapter of this fight is over. All thanks to New Yorkers who were #NewYorkTough,” he wrote on Twitter.
In March, the Legislature curtailed Cuomo’s abilities to impose new rules and forced him to discuss new executive orders.
The bill that gave Cuomo those emergency powers passed March 2, 2020, and was clear in its intent. “Permits the governor to issue by executive order any directive necessary to respond to a state disaster emergency; and makes a $40,000,000 appropriation from the state purposes account of the general fund for responding to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”