Cuomo says non-essential travel between NY, CT, NJ, PA 'discouraged' amid spike in tristate area COVID cases

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said “non-essential” interstate travel between Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania is “discouraged,” amid a spike in cases of the novel coronavirus in the tristate area.

Cuomo, on Tuesday, announced that Arizona and Maryland have been added to New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory, which required individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

The quarantine, which New York, Connecticut and New Jersey began imposing in June, 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.

However, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania “now meet the criteria for the travel advisory,” Cuomo’s office said Tuesday, acknowledging that “given the interconnected nature of the region” a quarantine on those states “is not practically viable.”

“We are now in a situation where 43 states meet the criteria for our travel advisory. This is a really bizarre outcome, considering New York once had the highest infection rate,” Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday.

“There is no practical way to quarantine New York from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut,” he continued. “There are just too many interchanges, interconnections, and people who live in one place and work in the other.”

Cuomo said a quarantine on those states “would have a disastrous effect on the economy,” and noted that “while we’re fighting this public health pandemic, we’re also fighting to open up the economy.”

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“However, to the extent travel between the states is not essential, it should be avoided,” Cuomo said.

As of Tuesday, Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming are on New York’s mandatory quarantine list.

It is not clear, at this point, what limiting tristate travel will look like, or how Cuomo will enforce it.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he would change his state’s quarantine criteria, saying that a state must hit a positivity rate of 5% to land on the list.

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