Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered that travelers to New York must get a COVID-19 test within three days of departing from another state, then quarantine for three days — and then get another COVID-19 test on the fourth day.
“Four days plus three days is seven days, and that’s basically, by all probability, the incubation period,” he said. Only then will visitors be “free to go about their business,” the Democrat announced on Saturday.
The new mandate, which take effect on Wednesday, will not apply to residents of some “contiguous” states, so residents of New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania are exempt. Cuomo also said there will be different requirements for state residents who leave for less than 24 hours: They need not quarantine but must have a test by Day 4.
“Local health departments will validate tests, if necessary, and if a test comes back positive, will issue isolation orders and initiate contact tracing,” Cuomo said. “The local health department must make contact with the state the traveler came from, to ensure contact tracing proceeds there as well. All travelers must continue to fill out the traveler information form upon arrival into New York State to contribute to New York State’s robust contact tracing program.”
Those deemed by the state to be “essential” workers, which included medical personnel and grocery store workers, are exempt from the mandate.
Cuomo also claimed the state’s targeted shutdowns, dubbed the “microcluster approach,” in working in hotspots like Brooklyn and Queens. “I believe we got their attention in the red zones and the increase in enforcement got their attention. They are displeased with me but the infection rate came down and I believe I did my job,” he said.
The governor said New York’s statewide positivity rate is 1.49%, the third-lowest in the nation. “New Yorkers should be really proud of what they’re doing,” Cuomo said. “To be third in the nation is very good.”
The new mandate replaces a two-week mandatory quarantine for travelers arriving from areas deemed to be COVID-19 hotposts.
“Travel has become an issue — the rest of the states pose a threat. We’re going to a new plan given the changing facts, and the experts suggest we shift to a testing policy,” Cuomo said. “So there will be no quarantine list; there will be one rule that applies across the country. We bent the curve of this virus by following the data and the science, and we are continuing that approach with these new guidelines.”
Meanwhile in Michigan, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been blasted for draconian lockdown rules, officials claim there have been 12 coronavirus outbreaks stemming from bars and restaurants and now want patrons to provide their name and phone number for future potential contact tracing.
The new rule from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will go into effect on Monday, Fox News reported. Bars and restaurants will also be required to restrict the number of customers to 50 or fewer and allow no more than six people at a single table. Bars and restaurants that don’t follow the new mandate could be fined $1,000.