Gov. Cuomo gave New Yorkers a stern warning.

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On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York is ending the state disaster emergency declared on March 7, 2020, to fight COVID-19.

"New York went from one of the worst infection rates to the lowest infection rate in the country, and it was all because of the efforts of New Yorkers who were smart, united and did what they needed to do throughout this entire pandemic," Cuomo said. "Now we're starting to write a new chapter for a post-COVID New York--the state disaster emergency is ending and we can focus on reimaging, rebuilding and renewing our state."

While sharing the good news, Cuomo also gave Empire State residents a stern warning. Cuomo believes there will be another virus like COVID-19, adding New York and the nation must be better prepared.

"There will be another virus. There will be a next one. We don't have the luxury of saying, well COVID, we managed, will never happen again," Cuomo said. "It will happen again and we have to be prepared."

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Cuomo said it's finally time to move forward. However, he said rules for any New Yorker who isn't vaccinated against COVID remain in effect.

"This doesn't mean COVID is gone, we still have to get more New Yorkers vaccinated, but we are getting back on track and starting to live life once again," Cuomo added.

Federal CDC guidance will also remain in effect for riders on public transit and in certain settings, such as health care, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters. State and local government health departments will still be able to ensure mask rules and other health precautions are adhered to in those settings, officials say.

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