With the pandemic roaring around the nation and in nearby New Jersey and Connecticut, Governor Cuomo today announced that he’d be deploying additional National Guard and NYPD members to state airports to enforce the state’s COVID entry requirements as the holidays approach. In a conference call this morning with reporters, the governor said, “You should not land if you do not have proof of a negative test,” referring to the new travel rule that he announced on Monday, which says that most travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.
The state’s new travel rules replaced the previous mandatory 14-day quarantine that was put in place in June. As 6sqft reported earlier this week, the new rule works as follows: “Upon arrival in New York, [travelers] must quarantine for three days. On day four of the quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID-19 test. If both tests are negative, they can exit quarantine early.” Only those traveling to/from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, are exempt.
In addition to deploying more National Guard members to airports across the state, Governor Cuomo said he spoke with Mayor de Blasio about stationing additional NYPD members at JFK and LaGuardia, as well as Port Authority entry points. “I want people to know we’re serious,” said the governor.
Yesterday, the nation set a record for new daily coronavirus cases, reporting 121,288 cases. Wednesday’s total of 102,000 new cases was the previous record. In addition, 16 states set hospitalization records yesterday, according to CBS News.
“Relative to the nation, we are doing extraordinarily well,” said the governor, explaining that only Vermont and Maine–states that are very rural with low density and that never saw a COVID surge–have lower infection rates than New York.
However, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed concern this week over upticks in new cases. According to NBC News, “New York City reported more than 700 new cases of COVID Friday, well above the mayor’s 550-case threshold. That is the highest number in months; it comes after three consecutive days above 600, which also marked the first time in months it had gone that high. Each day, it ticks higher.” And as Gothamist reported today, “The number of people admitted to New York City hospitals for coronavirus infections rose by more than 62% last month.”
The governor reported that as of Friday, New York’s state-wide positivity rate is 1.9 percent. Without the cluster zones, it’s 1.8 percent. The positivity rate within the clusters is 3.16 percent. He also reported the success of the micro-cluster-zones implemented in New York City. In Queens, the Far Rockaway cluster will end today; Kew Gardens is unchanged. In Brooklyn, the red zone will be reduced by 50 percent, as will the yellow zone. The upstate counties of Eerie, Monroe, and Onondaga, however, are now seeing upticks. The state will be designing a micro-cluster strategy for these regions that will be announced on Monday.
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