“We now have to make sure the rates continue to drop,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday at a video briefing with Govs. Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut. “We also have to make sure the virus doesn’t come on a plane again.”
As of Wednesday, states over the threshold were Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington, Cuomo told reporters.
What was presented as a “travel advisory” affects three adjacent Northeastern states that after time were able to check the spread of the virus this spring as New York City became a hot spot for the pandemic.
And the governors are now warily eying other states with rising caseloads, trying to keep history from repeating itself.
“This is a smart thing to do,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said via video at a joint news conference in New York City. “We have taken our people, the three of us from these three states, through hell and back, and the last thing we need to do right now is subject our folks to another round.”
The states’ health departments will provide details of how the rule will work, Murphy said. Visitors to New York from affected states will be informed that they need to quarantine and that violators could face a mandatory quarantine and a fine, Cuomo said.
The quarantine is voluntary but “urgent guidance,” Lamont said at a briefing in Hartford, noting it will be enforced differently in each state. Connecticut is considering putting up signs at entry points and getting the word out via social media.
The announcement comes as summer travel to the states’ beaches, parks and other attractions—not to mention New York City—would normally swing into high gear.
New York was for a time the epicenter of the CCP virus outbreak but has since lowered its infection rate after locking down much of its economy.
“We had the worst infection rate. The rate of transmission was the highest. We now have the lowest rate of transmission,” Cuomo said last week, citing new lows in the number of hospitalizations and deaths.
“Our number of hospitalizations, lowest level since we started, amen, 1,400,” Cuomo said. “Number of deaths, 17 deaths in the state of New York. 17. Lowest number since we started.”
Reuters and Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.