Cuomo adds NY restaurant workers to vaccine priority list
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Tuesday added restaurant workers to New York’s vaccine priority list, along with taxi drivers and residents of assisted living facilities for people with disabilities.
The New York Times reports that Cuomo cited the increase in doses allocated to New York by the federal government for the expanded vaccine eligibility. The Biden administration ordered the 5 percent increase on Tuesday after an increase in manufacturing, the Times notes.
“Now there’s additional flexibility,” Cuomo said. “And I’m leaving it up to the local governments to make a determination of what fits their situation best.”
The Times notes that Cuomo had previously dismissed expanding vaccine eligibility due to the limited supply of doses in the state, calling the suggestion a “cheap, insincere discussion.”
Cuomo announced last week that indoor dining would again be permitted beginning on Feb. 14, allowing restaurants to operate at 25 percent capacity. The governor had previously stated that New York could begin loosening some restrictions in light of declining coronavirus cases.
“I think we’re at a new place now, and we can start to adjust that valve and start to open up more economic activity and reduce some of the restrictions,” Cuomo said last Monday.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) also voiced support for allowing restaurant workers to get vaccinated, the Times reports.
“Restaurant workers now are going to be in enclosed places with people eating and drinking,” de Blasio said. “Every doctor on this line or anyplace else will say that’s an area of concern.”
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York has administered nearly 2 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine.