Coronavirus US: Andrew Cuomo sends National Guard to NY airports

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Governor Andrew Cuomo is sending in the National Guard to New York airports to enforce his new COVID-19 travel rules, as cases continue to rise across the state and two new clusters have been identified in Staten Island.  

Cuomo said on a briefing call Friday he planned to post the National Guard to airports and increase other enforcement presence to clamp down on travelers entering the state over the holiday season as he warned people to stay away from the Empire state if they don’t have a negative test.

‘You should not land if you do not have proof of a negative test upon landing,’ the governor said on the call. 

New York‘s new policy came into force Wednesday allowing travelers arriving in the state to isolate for just four days so long as they provide a negative COVID test three days before entering and take a second negative test on day four.   

However, if the traveler fails to follow the new testing rules, they will be required to complete a 14-day quarantine.    

Governor Andrew Cuomo is sending in the National Guard to New York airports to enforce his new COVID-19 travel rules, as cases continue to rise across the state and two new clusters have been identified in Staten Island.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is sending in the National Guard to New York airports to enforce his new COVID-19 travel rules, as cases continue to rise across the state and two new clusters have been identified in Staten Island.

The National Guard will work with the state Department of Health on travel advisory screenings at airports, the governor’s office told DailyMail.com.  

Cuomo said Friday he had spoken with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to increase NYPD presence to also help enforce the new requirements as the two leaders grow increasingly concerned with rising infection rates. 

The governor announced the new travel rules Saturday to take effect from Wednesday providing a more amenable alternative to the previous rule of a two-week mandatory quarantine for all travelers from hotspot states. 

Under the new rules, people entering the Empire State must provide a negative coronavirus test three days before their arrival, followed by a second negative test four days after arriving if they want to avoid a two-week mandatory quarantine.

Between their arrival and the second negative test travelers must isolate but once the second test comes back negative they are free to move around the state.  

Travelers from neighboring states New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts as well as essential workers continue to be exempt from the rules. 

Also exempt are travelers who have been out of the state for less than 24 hours. 

These travelers do not need to quarantine but must still test negative on day four.      

Cuomo said the new testing policy for out-of-town arrivals was based on the fact it can take up to seven days for COVID-19 to appear on a test from the time that the person was initially infected.  

Cuomo said on a briefing call Friday he planned to post the National Guard to airports and increase other enforcement presence to clamp down on travelers entering the state over the holiday season. Pictured National Guard members in Pennsylania Thursday

Cuomo said on a briefing call Friday he planned to post the National Guard to airports and increase other enforcement presence to clamp down on travelers entering the state over the holiday season. Pictured National Guard members in Pennsylania Thursday

‘Four days plus three days is seven days and that’s basically by all probability the incubation period and that’s the policy,’ he said Saturday.   

Cuomo’s office confirmed to DailyMail.com that the rules also apply to New York residents returning to the state from vacation, meaning residents face the difficult task of finding a testing site on holiday in order to comply with the rules in order to avoid quarantine.     

Based on the seven-day theory, it remains unclear why travelers unable to get a test before arriving cannot take a test on day one of landing into New York and again on day seven, amounting to the same testing process but a less punitive seven-day rather than 14-day quarantine.  

The governor’s office has not responded to DailyMail.com’s request for clarification on this rule.  

The sweeping travel reform replaced the state’s quarantine list of states where travelers were required to quarantine for 14 days if arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

The governor announced the new travel rules Saturday to take effect from Wednesday providing a more amenable alternative to the previous rule of a two-week mandatory quarantine for all travelers from hotspot states. Travelers at JFK Airport

The governor announced the new travel rules Saturday to take effect from Wednesday providing a more amenable alternative to the previous rule of a two-week mandatory quarantine for all travelers from hotspot states. Travelers at JFK Airport

The number of states on the list has ballooned of late, with 41 states currently on the list as cases surge across America.

Both New York state and the city has recorded some of the highest cases they have seen in months. 

As of Friday, the state’s infection rate had risen to 1.9 percent. 

Cuomo cited several parts of upstate New York as particular areas of concern. 

Portchester, Westchester County, was added to his micro-cluster strategy making it a yellow zone after its positivity rate increased. 

And a micro-cluster strategy will be planned for Erie, Monroe and Onondaga counties, Cuomo said.  

The governor also announced that the Buffalo Bills sports stadium will stay closed, saying it ‘would be reckless from a public health point of view to open the stadium to spectators at this time’.  

However some areas of the state are being downgraded or removed from the cluster strategy after their figures have improved.  

The Far Rockaway cluster in Queens, which was recently downgraded to a yellow zone, will no longer be considered a cluster zone at all. 

The Brooklyn red and yellow cluster zones will also reduce in size by 50 percent and restrictions will ease up in the Rockland and Orange counties.   

‘We are obviously in a different phase with COVID,’ Cuomo said. 

‘We’ve been talking about it for weeks but we have to acknowledge it. The numbers are changing all across the globe, all across the country. The challenge for our state is managing the increase.’

On Thursday, de Blasio said city officials were ‘concerned’ after positivity rates in two Staten Island zip codes soared past 3 percent – which has long been the threshold for setting off alarm bells. 

Positivity rates topped 3 percent in the 10305 zip code, which includes Dongan Hills, South Beach and Rosebank, and the 10314 zip code, which includes Bulls Head and Westerleigh, marking a new cluster of concern in the fight against the pandemic. 

‘In a couple of zip codes in Staten Island, we see the kind of increase that makes us concerned,’ de Blasio said Thursday at a City Hall press briefing. 

‘We’re going to send out a lot of activity now to address this.’  

Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that ‘huge restrictions’ could be on the horizon for the Big Apple after what he described as a ‘meaningful jump’ in infections.  

The growth in New York is indicative of the nationwide trend, with the US recording its five highest days of cases on record in the days running up to the election.   

Another 2,997 people tested positive for the virus in the state Wednesday, taking the total to 518,812.

The death toll now stands at 25,892.   

Nationwide, 9.6 million have now tested positive and almost 235,000 have died. 

Source


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