NEW YORK — Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced some major milestones in the fight against COVID-19.
During a press briefing, Cuomo said that New York State has the lowest weekly COVID-19 positivity rate in the nation at 0.64 percent.
"The people of New York did it - no one else, it was their behavior, it was their sense of community, their unity that turned things around," Cuomo said.
In addition, the Western New York region's weekly COVID-19 positivity rate is under 1 percent at 0.92 percent.
"Well we are doing extraordinarily well, because we have an increasing number of people who have been vaccinated and largely we have shifted to outdoor activities where the virus doesn't spread particularly well," said University at Buffalo's Chief of Infectious Disease Dr. Thomas Russo.
Many people have asked 2 On Your Side if this means we have reached the finish line of the pandemic.
"Well for those who have been vaccinated they are largely at the finish line," Russo said. "Unfortunately, there is still COVID out there and if you're unvaccinated you're still at risk for getting infected."
Russo stressed the importance of those who haven't been vaccinated yet to do so.
Efforts in New York continue to get as many people vaccinated as possible. Wednesday, Governor Cuomo announced more than 45,000 young adults got vaccinated since the announcement of the Get a Shot to Make Your Future program.
"The winners get a full four year scholarship to a four year to a state college or university," he said.
Cuomo announced the first 10 winners, the closest winners to Western New York were from Victor and Syracuse, NY.
"Over half of all New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. To think that at this point last year the vaccine was a dream on the horizon is staggering. I am proud to lead the people of this state who have gotten us to where we are," Governor Cuomo said.
"New Yorkers are tough and together we have carried each other through this pandemic and we are ever closer to emerging into a better, safer, reimagined state. Those who have not yet received the vaccine should take advantage of ongoing programs and do so for the greater good of New York."