For a time, New York had the distinction of having the most COVID-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the country. However thanks to strong mandates, their numbers have significantly decreased over time.
The state has been slowly easing indoor dining restrictions (it’s now 75% in New York State and 35% in New York City) and recently announced a timeline to allow theme parks and certain entertainment venues to reopen, albeit with attendance caps in place.
Statewide hospitalizations have continued to decrease and the average daily positivity rate in the past month has been 3.44% (that’s about 1/10 of its all-time high).
With millions of people in the U.S. getting vaccinated each day and COVID numbers going in the right direction, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that effective April 1st, domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine after entering New York from another U.S. state or territory.
“Our fight in the war against COVID-19 continues, but we are encouraged by the decrease in infection and hospitalization rates and the rise in vaccinations,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we expand our vaccine distribution and celebrate the arrival of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, we have never been closer to defeating this beast once and for all. It is critical that New Yorkers not succumb to COVID fatigue and remain vigilant. Until the day the war is won, we all need to continue the practices we know work—washing hands, social distancing, and masking up. The numbers are a reflection of our actions and when we work together, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
It’s noted that isolation requirements for international travelers will continue.
Though the quarantine mandate for domestic travelers will end, New York state health officials will continue to recommend quarantine after domestic travel as an added precaution. All travelers will still need to complete the state’s traveler form, as well as adhere to COVID safety guidelines as issued by the state and federal authorities:
- Continue daily symptom monitoring through Day 14
- Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, even if fully vaccinated
- Immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has not always been a fan of the governor’s decisions, says Cuomo didn’t tell him about this upcoming change before it was publicly announced. He doesn’t sound happy about the decision that will soon affect his city.
“I don’t know if that’s the state’s idea of an April Fool’s joke but it is absolutely the wrong thing to do. It’s reckless and it doesn’t help us with our recovery,” the mayor said.
“I believe in local control, and here’s another case where New York City was not consulted,” he continued. “Even though we are one of the biggest cities in the world and 43% of the state’s population, we were not consulted.”
The head of NYC Health + Hospitals and the mayor’s senior public health adviser also agree that limiting incoming travel was a key component of reducing viral spread, especially with so many members of the population still waiting for their vaccinations.
As of late last week, New York State had administered at least one dose to more than 4 million people – that’s about a third of the 12 million currently eligible and roughly 20.4% of the state’s population. More than 2 million people (10.4% of the state’s population) are fully vaccinated.
In New York City, 1.5 million people (17.9% of the population) have gotten at least one dose, while nearly 718,000 (8.5% of the city’s population) are now fully vaccinated.
Andrew Cuomo’s announcement doesn’t mention a vaccination requirement.
Said de Blasio, “The introduction of the virus from outside has been one of the biggest and toughest X factors in this whole crisis and something we worry about very much going forward.”
Feature Photo: Famartin // Wikimedia Commons
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary