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COVID-19 state of emergency ends in New York State: Others for healthcare staffing, monkeypox remain active

New York State’s COVID state of emergency has expired.

Governor Kathy Hochul allowed the state of emergency lapse on Monday, as cases of COVID-19 remain relatively low compared to peak pandemic heights.

Hochul said earlier that she would wait to see if students heading back to school brought on another surge.

The Governor has been facing increasing criticism over a multi-million-dollar contract her administration granted to a campaign donor for COVID tests, according to reporting by the Times-Union.

Republicans like Will Barclay, Minority Leader in the Assembly, credited the end of emergency powers and declaration by Hochul to his party’s pressure.

“Thanks to the continued pressure from Republicans, public pushback in nearly every sector of the state and well-deserved criticism from good government groups and the media, the governor will no longer be able to skirt important checks and balances built into normal state operations through her emergency powers,” he said in a statement.

“For too long, Gov. Hochul took advantage of her self-imposed authority and the lack of oversight and review typically required by state law. Most recently, a deal that allowed her department of health to purchase $637 million worth of COVID-19 test kits, from a major donor’s company, well above market price was evidence of this. Today, I’d like to believe, this fiscal abuse and pay-to-play behavior ends.”

The state does still remain under a health-related emergency declaration due to monkeypox and healthcare staffing.