About 600 flights have been canceled within, into or out of the US on Christmas Eve

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that fully vaccinated essential workers who have tested positive for Covid-19 can return to their job after a shorter quarantine time.

Fully vaccinated workers can return to work after five days if they present no symptoms and have had no fever for 72 hours, Hochul said Friday. Those workers will still be expected to wear a mask, she added. 

While Hochul did not explicitly define who counts as an essential worker, she said it includes those who work in healthcare, sanitation, grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants. 

“We want to make sure that our critical workforce, who we’ve relied on from the beginning – and my heart goes out to them filled with gratitude – that our workers can get back. And that includes our healthcare, eldercare, home healthcare, sanitation, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants – you know who you are,” Hochul said. “You know you’re the ones who got us through the first many months of anxiety. We need you again, we need you to be able to go to work.”

The governor said the new guidance is a state application of recent US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance about Omicron and its differences from prior variants. 

“This is not Delta; this is not the first variant. This is Omicron, which thus far…has demonstrated, as we’ve watched around the globe and other places where it hit first, that it’s not as severe in its impact,” Hochul said. 

Hochul also announced a milestone in the Empire State’s vaccine drive. The governor said 95% of New Yorkers over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. She urged all New Yorkers to get full initial vaccines and booster shots, saying three shots is more effective against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Read More: About 600 flights have been canceled within, into or out of the US on Christmas Eve

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