Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that New York will end the state disaster emergency that was declared on March 7, 2020 to fight COVID-19.

Cuomo says given New York’s dramatic progress against the virus and with the success in vaccination rates and declining hospitalization and positivity rates statewide, the state of emergency will expire on Thursday.

"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. 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."

The governor says federal CDC guidance will remain in effect, which includes masks for unvaccinated individuals and in certain setting like public transportation, health care facilities and nursing homes.

Cuomo, who has showed COVID statistics at his news briefings for over a year, didn't talk about percentages.  He said it's time to reimagine, rebuild and renew  New York post-COVID-19.

Senate Republic Leader Robert Ortt issued the following statement on Governor Cuomo’s decision to life the state of emergency:

Today’s news that the New York governor’s emergency executive powers will finally be lifted is long overdue news. The progress we’ve made wouldn’t have been possible without thousands of frontline workers, business owners and everyday New Yorkers who sacrificed so much over the past year. 

Now it is time for us to turn our undivided attention to the economic recovery and the rising crime wave devastating major metro areas all across the state. As elected officials, we must lead by example. Government officials should finally resume normal operations including making themselves available to the public and press.

We must do better to restore trust in our government, and that begins by making ourselves more accessible and accountable as state leaders.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.