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Cuomo threatens quarantine for visitors from other states with high rates of coronavirus

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is contemplating a quarantine order on travelers to New York from other states with high rates of the coronavirus, including Florida.

The governor, in several cable news interviews over the past couple of days, has talked about the possibility of imposing a 14-day quarantine for those who travel from the 20-plus states where the rate of the virus is on the rise. He spoke about it Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“We are seriously looking at that,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said he’s talking with the governors of the neighboring states of New Jersey and Connecticut about possibly imposing a quarantine soon.

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New York, once the nation’s epicenter of the disease, now has some of the lowest rates of infection and transmission of all of the states. Over 48,000 people were tested for coronavirus on Monday, and 1.2% tested positive. Twenty-seven New Yorkers died of the disease on Monday.

But the governor said without a cohesive federal policy for all of the states, he can’t stop the virus from crossing the state’s borders.

Cuomo criticized President Donald Trump and his administration for not advocating for greater precautions. He said states that have reopened with few restraints are seeing a “boomerang” effect, with virus rates increasing.

“We tested the president’s theory, a political reopening, COVID was a political issue. It wasn’t. It was a virus. You had to be smart. You had to use science,” Cuomo said. “And those states that used science are doing much better than those states that made this a political issue. That’s a fact.”

Cuomo said the state continues to prepare for a possible second wave of the virus in the fall, with requirements that hospitals keep 30% of their beds free for potential COVID-19 patients, and that the health care facilities work together and keep fully stocked with personal protective equipment and other supplies.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for the New York Public News Network, composed of a dozen newsrooms across the state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.