Travelers from Rhode Island must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in New York because of high levels of coronavirus in that state, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday.
It became the latest addition to a list that now includes 34 states and Puerto Rico. Delaware and Washington, D.C., were dropped from the list, since their coronavirus indicators have improved.
The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or an area with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.
"Our progress in New York is even better than we expected, thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers. Our numbers continue to decline steadily, and for the third straight day in a row, there were no reported deaths in New York City," Cuomo said.
States/regions in red are included on New York's travel advisory list as of Oct. 27, 2020. Guam and Puerto Rico, not pictured, are also on the list.
"But we must protect that progress, which is why today we are adding another state to our travel advisory. We cannot go back to the hell we experienced just a few months ago — and surging infection rates across the country threaten to bring us back there — so we must all remain vigilant."
The statewide level of people tested and confirmed positive for the virus in results delivered Monday was 1.05%, Cuomo said.
The move on Rhode Island was a turnaround from the start of the pandemic when, in late March, Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered anyone traveling to that state from New York to self-quarantine for 14 days.
At the time, New York was a global epicenter of the virus. Now, it has one of the lowest COVID-19 infection levels in the country.
In March, Raimondo dispatched police and National Guardsmen to keep on the lookout for New York license plates and warn New Yorkers to self-quarantine.
Rhode Island has been among a coalition of Northeast states that have tried to coordinate their responses to the pandemic, deciding together as much as possible when to reopen businesses, for instance.
In recent weeks, the Northeast has been the only region in the country to keep the virus relatively under control.
Of the 70,993 test results reported to New York State on Monday, 746 were confirmed positive for the virus. They included 56 in Nassau County, 73 in Suffolk County, and 316 in New York City.
The infection level was 1.3% on Long Island and 1% in New York City.
Three people died of coronavirus-related causes in the state Monday, Cuomo said. No deaths were reported in New York City for a third straight day.
New York City abruptly replaced its top public health official Tuesday at a key point in its fight to keep the coronavirus from surging again.
After months of public speculation about Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot's future in her job, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced she'd be replaced by Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, an official and primary care physician in the city's public hospital system. He also worked in Louisiana's Department of Health before and after Hurricane Katrina's devastating blow in 2005.
Barbot told staffers in an internal memo that she resigned because as the city braces for an expected eventual second surge of the coronavirus, the staff's "talents must be better leveraged alongside that of our sister agencies," and the virus fight needs to proceed "without distractions."
De Blasio thanked Barbot for her "important work" during the crisis that made New York the deadliest coronavirus hot spot in the country this past spring. But he said at a news conference that the city needs "a new leader for our Department of Health who could bring together the skills we need at this moment."
Barbot, a pediatrician who was Baltimore's health commissioner from 2010 to 2014, was appointed health commissioner in her native New York City in December 2018, becoming the first Latina to head the agency.
With Nassau reporting 56 new COVID-19 cases of 4,606 people tested, that came out to a positive level of 1.2%, County Executive Laura Curran said. Nassau’s hospitals have 36 COVID-19 related patients, with nine in ICUs and two on ventilators. Nassau has not had a COVID-19-related death in more than a week, she said.
"While we’ve seen a drop in our hospitalizations and critical patients, we cannot let our guard down," Curran said in a statement. "For the past two days, we have seen our positive numbers rise above 1%. Residents need to remain vigilant and continue the smart practices of social distancing and wearing masks so we can keep this virus at bay."
With AP and Matthew Chayes
States in NY's quarantine list
Travelers in New York State's "travel advisory" list, due to community spread of the COVID-19 virus, are required to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average, the state said. The following is the updated list of states whose travelers face those restrictions in New York as of Aug. 4:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
SOURCE: New York State