Alaska and Delaware have been added, once more, to New York State’s list of mandatory quarantine locations for travelers, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday.
Anyone coming to New York from those states, which have a growing number of COVID-19 cases, will be required to quarantine for two weeks. The two states are back on the list of 35 locations after being removed earlier this month because of improvements in containing the spread.
And New York City will now require hotels and rental services such as Airbnb to help track travelers to New York City from coronavirus hot spots.
While the state's level of new cases remains under 1% for the 11th day in a row, Cuomo said it could return to high rates seen during the peak of the pandemic if people become complacent.
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.
"Our success in this fight is determined, more than anything, by the actions each of us takes in daily life — washing our hands, properly social distancing and wearing masks — and by the willingness of local governments to be competent partners and to enforce state guidance,” Cuomo said in a statement.
For the first time in weeks, the State Liquor Authority and State Police Task Force did not hand out violations on Monday to bars and restaurants on Long Island and in New York City for failing to comply with state requirements to observe social distancing and wear face coverings.
The task force visited 976 bars and restaurants on Long Island and in New York City on Monday, the state said.
So far, 148 bars and restaurants statewide have lost liquor licenses for not following health requirements put in place to curtail COVID-19. In addition, 812 related charges have been filed against establishments.
The state reported 655 new COVID-19 positives on Monday, including 46 in Nassau County and 50 in Suffolk County. The overall number of cases in the state is now 426,571, with 44,001 in Nassau and 44,235 in Suffolk.
State officials said 0.98% of the 66,891 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported to the state on Monday were positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The state said 537 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 and eight people — including a Suffolk resident — died of related causes statewide, a significant decrease from hundreds a day in the spring.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement the county has "not lost a resident to COVID-19 in over a week," but "this virus is still a threat and residents are reminded that they need to continue smart prevention practices."
In addition, Cuomo said the Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended for another 30 days, through Sept.15, to help people during the pandemic.
NYC tracking visitors
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that requires hotels to have visitors fill out a form detailing travel, addresses and phone numbers to help track whether a person arriving from a COVID-19 hot spot is complying with a two-week quarantine mandate.
“Any hotel, any short-term rental, must get that form from the traveler complete, with the contact information, and if they don’t have that form from the traveler, they should not give them access to their room, period," de Blasio said at a Tuesday news conference.
The state has said it has placed agents at airports to have travelers fill out the forms. De Blasio also urged New Yorkers to avoid traveling to the hot spots.
De Blasio and his top health officials did not specify whether any COVID-19 cases had been traced to an out-of-town visitor. Dr. Jay Varma, an adviser to the city, said at the news conference that about 15 to 20% of city cases had been linked to recent out-of-town travel.
Gyms are not expected to open in the city until after Sept. 2, de Blasio said, because the city's health department is focused on the reopening of schools. Cuomo announced Monday that gyms across the state could reopen by Aug. 24, subject to passing inspections and approvals by local governments.
Fauci: 'Cautiously optimistic' on vaccine
In an interview Tuesday with the website Healthline, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he is “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready by late 2020 or early 2021. Several are undergoing clinical trials.
“Studies that have been done, the preliminary phase-one studies, are inducing a level of neutralizing antibodies that’s at least equivalent to or better than what you see with convalescent plasma, people who have actually recovered, ” Fauci said. “That’s not a guarantee, but it’s a good predictor that things will go well.”
He cast doubts on claims by the Russian government that it has developed a COVID-19 vaccine ready to be used by the public, saying, “You could not have tested adequately yet its safety and its efficacy.“
With Scott Eidler
New York's travelers' 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 seven-day rolling average or an area with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average, the state said. The following is the updated list of states and other jurisdictions whose travelers face those restrictions in New York as of Aug. 18:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Virgin Islands
SOURCE: New York Governor's Office