Cuomo Says Students Will Need COVID Vax to Attend Public Colleges In Person Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in New York. (Spencer Platt/Pool Photo via AP)
By Fran Beyer | Monday, 10 May 2021 02:19 PM
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., on Monday declared that students of the state's and city’s public university and college systems must get vaccinated against COVID-19 before attending in-person classes this fall.
At a news conference, Cuomo encouraged private colleges to do the same.
"If you must have a vaccine, get it now if you have to get it anyway," Cuomo said, Politico reported.
"I also encourage private schools to do the same thing. Let’s make a global statement — you cannot go back to school in September unless you have a vaccine. That will be a major motivation to get the vaccine."
Cuomo said 39.4%, or 7.7 million, of New York residents are fully vaccinated, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
But state data shows the number of residents getting vaccinated each day is dropping in line with national trends, with lower rates among young people.
Nearly three-fourths of people between 65 and 74 years old are fully vaccinated, according to Cuomo, compared with one-fourth of people between the ages of 16 and 25.
It’s unclear if faculty and staff at public universities will have to get vaccinated as well.
New York state’s public university system has nearly 400,000 students enrolled; the City University of New York has roughly 270,000 students.
Some New York schools, including prominent private schools such as Cornell University and New York University, already require COVID vaccinations for returning students this fall, with exemptions for medical and religious reasons, Politico noted.
Meanwhile, New York's positivity rate stands at 1.4%, with Cuomo reporting that rate has declined 58% in the last month. Hospitalizations have dropped 49% in the past month.
On Monday, outdoor gathering limits were increased to 500 around the states
The Associated Press contributed to this report.