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Dr. Howard Zucker Stepping Down As New York State Health Commissioner

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Dr. Howard Zucker is stepping down as New York State health commissioner.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the news during a Thursday morning COVID-19 briefing.

Hochul said he submitted his resignation, but agreed to stay on until the position is filled.

WATCH: Gov. Hochul Gives Latest COVID Update In New York 

"There comes a time when the baton should be passed in this marathon journey that we call public service in New York State," Zucker wrote in his resignation letter. "With a fierce dedication to the public's health, I have carried it through many a crisis in the last seven years and five months and placed the welfare of our residents at the forefront of all things, professional and personal."

"I agree with his decision," said Hochul. "He has been a dedicated public servant for over seven and a half years. He worked hard through the pandemic. And I want to thank him for his service on behalf of the people of this state."

Web Extra: Read Dr. Zucker's Resignation Letter (pdf)

Zucker was a regular figure at former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's pandemic news conferences.

He came under fire for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in nursing homes, particularly a March 2020 mandate that COVID-positive residents be allowed to return to facilities, which many said were unequipped to quarantine those patients.


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