UTICA, N.Y. -- The Utica skyline was lit up with fireworks as New York State hit a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19. Governor, Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that most COVID restrictions were lifted, effective immediately, after data showed that 70 percent of the state's population received at least one dose of the vaccine.
After a year and a half of restrictions, it seems to be noteworthy part in this process, and people are glad that the state is one of many in the country turning the corner. Cathy Jantzen, a former healthcare worker, had to leave the industry once the pandemic began in 2020 due to her husband's already compromised health history. She says she's glad that the state can finally move on.
"We're free, it's amazing. It's been a long battle."
A long battle that, for some nations around the world, is still happening. Multiple variants are still affecting those in other countries, but Dawn Jones hopes this will help the rest of the world in their recovery as well.
"There's been so many deaths. I just want it to be over."
Man are thinking about the first thing they'll do now that restrictions are lifted. For Jones, she's focused on seeing her family, including her great grandchildren, who she hasn't been able to visit since the pandemic began.
"(I want to) be with my family. We're going to have a big to-do in Indiana because my daughter is there and I haven't really be able to see her because we haven't been able to travel."
An opportunity that Jones, and many others will now finally be able to safely take part in as a step to return to a state of normalcy that New Yorkers have been craving for over a year.