ALBANY, N.Y. — People traveling to New York from eight more states will have to quarantine for 14 days after they arrive after Governor Andrew Cuomo added them to the travel advisory list Tuesday.
The advisory was issued after several states started to see a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.
The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with an infection rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a 10 percent positive test rate over a seven-day average.
"As an increasing number of states around the country fight significant community spread, New York is taking action to maintain the precarious safety of its phased, data-driven reopening," Cuomo said. "We've set metrics for community spread just as we've set metrics for everything the state does to fight COVID-19, and eight more states have reached the level of spread required to qualify for New York's travel advisory, meaning we will now require individuals traveling to New York from those states to quarantine for 14 days."
The updated list of states on the travel advisory is below:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
"I think this order by Governor Cuomo is trying to minimize the number of cases that enter our community and therefore as a result if we can minimize those cases, we can minimize the risk of individuals here getting infected," said Dr. Thomas Russo, the chief of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo.
Russo said if someone from one those states has COVID-19 and doesn't quarantine once arriving in New York, the ripple effect could be significant.
"It only takes one individual that's infected," he said. "If the timing is right and they interact with a large number of people that aren't protecting themselves with masks they could infect many, many people and then that could build upon that where those individuals can infect many more."
However, New York State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt has concerns about the executive order.
He told 2 On Your Side, "We were told there would be a carve-out for military personnel and there has not been, so that's a real problem."
Ortt said this is just one reason he believes the legislature should be a part of these discussions.
"Just the other day, last week there was a group of army reservists from New York coming back from South Carolina, but there's no carve out or protection for them," Ortt said. "They were down on orders. They weren't down there for their job. They were down there for their military job. They come back. They have to be quarantined, but they don't get paid for it because they can't go back to work."
A spokesperson with the NFTA told 2 On Your Side, to date, this latest travel advisory has minimal impact on the airport, given the overall decline in air travel.
According to the governor, the list of states impacted can change as the infection rates do.
New York State performed more than 52,000 tests on Monday. Of those tests, 524 came back positive, or 1% of the total. The statewide total of confirmed cases in NYS is 393,454 since the pandemic began.
891 people are currently hospitalized. Thirteen people died on Monday from COVID-19 related illnesses.
Health officials have said the best way to control the virus is to social distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask.