NEW YORK CITY (WROC) — After a four-day break of briefings, following 111 consecutive daily updates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed New Yorkers from New York City Wednesday morning.
The governor announced a new tri-state initiative with New Jersey and Connecticut that would implement a travel advisory. People traveling into these states, coming from states with high coronavirus infection rates, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, or risk civil penalties ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.
This travel initiative goes into effect at 12 a.m. Thursday, the governor said.
“We’re announcing today a joint travel advisory,” Gov. Cuomo said. “People coming in from states that have a high infection rate must quarantine for 14 days and we have a calibration for the infection rate and any state that goes over the infection rate, that state will be subject to the quarantine.
The governor said taking a regional approach is the right decision.
“I think it’s right, I think it’s smart, and I’m glad we’re doing this together,” Gov. Cuomo said.
“The last thing we need to do right now is to subject our folks to another round,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “And this virus is risky enough on its own in terms of its potential to flare back up, so do something as common sense as this is, to say to folks, ‘it’s time for personal responsibility. If you’ve been in a state with a high infection rate, do the right thing.'”
“The northeast region is taking this seriously and that allows us as a region to power through and get positive rates low, but we’re not an island,” said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. “As we look around the country we’ve seen not just spikes, but spreads. “If you come to Connecticut, if you come to New York if you come to New Jersey you come safely and follow the protocols.”
The three states will use a formula that says if the infection rate of a state is over 10% in the previous seven days, travelers from those states must be put under a 14-day quarantine.
Gov. Cuomo said New York’s progress against the pandemic continues and its important to maintain protective protocols to ensure that trend continues.
“You look at where we are now, we did a full 180 degrees we went from the highest cases, the highest viral transmission rate, to some of the lowest rates in the county,” Gov. Cuomo said. “All the numbers are good, what we’re doing works, our approach has been vindicated and the phased reopening by data works.”
The governor said daily deaths from the virus statewide continues to trend downward as well.
“The number of deaths is 17 today,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This is right about where the lowest numbers have ever been, and again that’s more great, great news and again we don’t want to see these numbers rise.”
The governor announced that five regions were on track to advance to phase four Friday, as News 8 WROC reported Tuesday, but with some restrictions.
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“Phase four — we’re going to increase the number of people who can be at a religious gather from 25% to 33%,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We’re also increasing the number of people who can be in social gatherings from 25 to 50 people. We’ll continue to study malls, movie theaters, and gyms.
“There are some reports that malls, bars, certain social clubs with air conditioning, that it may not be cleansing the air of the virus and just recycling the virus, so we’re studying that and as soon as we get more information we’ll make a decision,” Gov. Cuomo said.
The governor said it’s important to stay the course, especially when states in the south and west continue to see increases in COVID-19 cases.
“What New York is doing is counter to what you see across the nation,” Gov. Cuomo said. “They are going up and we are going down; 27 states going up so nationally. We should admit the reality — denial is not a life strategy it never is. Those 27 states are going up, more people are being infected and more lives will be lost. They’re offering excuses, ‘well it’s because we’re doing more testing that the numbers are going up,’ and that is just not true.”
On Friday, the governor concluded his daily press conferences after 111 consecutive days of coronavirus updates since the outbreak in the state in early March.
New York state had 27 COVID-19 deaths reported Monday, up from 10 reported Sunday which was the lowest single day death toll statewide since March 21.
Statewide there were 48,709 tests performed Monday with 597 positive results — 1.22%.
Additionally, the governor’s office reported that of 56,780 tests for the virus, only 552 came back positive — .97%.
Locally, there were three additional COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the Monroe County total to 264 COVID-19 deaths.
To date, officials report 3,392 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County, including only 30 new cases since 24 hours prior.