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New York adds Alaska and Montana to COVID-19 travel quarantine list

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the states of

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the states of Alaska and Montana were added to New York's quarantine list Tuesday, as efforts continue to prevent viral spread from other states and territories in the United States. Credit: Charles Eckert

Alaska and Montana were added back Tuesday to the list of states and territories from which travelers to New York must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, while the level of new coronavirus cases in the state remained below 1% for the 25th straight day.

Meanwhile, New York City is delaying the reopening of public schools, putting off the return of students for classroom instruction, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. The city’s school reopening has moved from Sept. 10 to Sept. 21, with a Sept. 16 start for remote classes.

The addition of Alaska and Montana brings to 33 the number of states and territories on the “travel advisory” list, a measure to limit the risk of spread.

Both states were on the quarantine list previously and had been removed last week.

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.

The quarantine mandate applies to anyone 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 list includes a majority of states in the country and several territories.

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New York’s level of confirmed positives for the virus was 0.98% Monday, continuing a streak of low levels that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has attributed to New Yorkers largely adhering to COVID-19 mitigation regulations.

“As we continue to pursue a phased, data-driven reopening, the number of areas that remain on New York’s travel advisory is a stark reminder of the continued extent of the COVID-19 crisis throughout the nation,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“Our ability to protect our state and fight the virus begins with what we do here at home, and that’s why it’s so important that New Yorkers wear masks, socially distance and wash their hands, and why local governments need to enforce state guidance,” he added.

Of 76,997 test results reported to New York State on Monday, 754 were positive. The number of new confirmed cases was 84 in Nassau County, 65 in Suffolk County and 305 in New York City.

The level of positive tests was 1% on Long Island and 0.9% in New York City.

There were 109 patients in ICU for COVID-19-related problems Monday, the lowest figure since March 15. Three people died of COVID-19-related causes in the state Monday. A total of 432 people were hospitalized with the virus.

State Liquor Authority agents and State Troopers visited 1,073 establishments Monday, and issued summonses to three for failing to comply with coronavirus mitigation laws. One was in Nassau County and two were in Manhattan.

New York’s generally positive outlook came as cases continued to mount around the world, reaching a total of more than 25.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the COVID-19 virus worldwide. The United States accounts for about 6 million of those cases, the largest total of any country.

The virus has taken the lives of more than 850,000 people, including about 184,000 in the United States — again the highest figure of any country, according to the university.

County Executive Laura Curran said Tuesday that Nassau has kept its level of confirmed cases close to 1% throughout the summer.

“September marks the beginning of a new chapter in our fight against the pandemic, and Nassau County is closely monitoring school and university reopenings within the county and region,” Curran said in a statement.

Cuomo warned this week that the state could close specific schools and colleges if the virus sees a resurgence with the return to classes.

In one such cluster, SUNY Oneonta has suspended all in-person classes for two weeks following what officials called a “surge of COVID 19 cases” totaling 245, including 68 additional positives from tests Sunday.

School officials said 481 students were screened on campus, in a statement posted on the school’s website. School officials also reported 65 students were in quarantine on campus.

“During his visit to campus on Aug. 30, State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced that the State of New York has directed SUNY Oneonta to suspend all in-person activities, including on-campus instruction, for the next two weeks in response to the college’s surge in COVID-19 cases. The two-week pause began at 9 p.m. Aug. 30 and will last until Sept. 13,” the statement read.

Kim MacLeod, spokeswoman for SUNY Oneonta, said in a phone call late Tuesday afternoon: “This really amounts to a few students who did not follow our safety protocols and now it’s causing difficulties for our entire campus."

New York on Tuesday also announced new guidelines for agritourism businesses as the state nears the start of the fall season.

The businesses — staples of autumn including corn mazes, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable operations, hayrides and haunted houses — are considered low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment, and are permitted if they observe requirements.

The regulations set by the state include measures such as ensuring social distancing, reduced capacity, and sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces.

With Matthew Chayes and Antonio Planas

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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 following is the updated list of states and other jurisdictions whose travelers face those restrictions in New York as of Sept. 1:

1. Alaska

2. Alabama

3. Arkansas

4. California

5. Florida

6. Georgia

7. Guam

8. Hawaii

9. Iowa

10. Idaho

11. Illinois

12. Indiana

13. Kansas

14. Kentucky

15. Louisiana

16. Minnesota

17. Missouri

18. Mississippi

19. Montana

20. North Carolina

21. North Dakota

22. Nebraska

23. Nevada

24. Oklahoma

25. Puerto Rico

26. South Carolina

27. South Dakota

28. Tennessee

29. Texas

30. Utah

31. Virginia

32. Virgin Islands

33. Wisconsin

SOURCE: New York Governor’s Office

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