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More than two-thirds of states now on NY's quarantine list

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a briefing this month.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a briefing this month.

People traveling to New York from more than two-thirds of the country will now have to quarantine for at least two weeks upon entering the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, after infection rates in three more states exceeded New York’s threshold.

A total of 34 states are now on New York’s quarantine list, meaning their infection rates are high enough that residents could pose a risk to New Yorkers upon entering the state.

Illinois, Kentucky, and Minnesota were added to the list Tuesday. Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico also qualified for quarantine status, Cuomo said. The metric is based on the infection rate per capita, and is reviewed weekly for changes.

At this point, the list of states that haven’t qualified for New York’s quarantine order is shorter than the alternative: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, South Dakota, West Virginia, Oregon, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Wyoming and Colorado haven’t been added to the list.

New York has taken steps in recent months to maintain a downward trajectory of COVID-19 and has made major strides in the meantime toward containing the virus.

As of Tuesday, only 648 people remained hospitalized in New York because of the virus. Of those, 81 people were still intubated -- the lowest level since March 15. There were nine new deaths Monday, the latest data available from the state.

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Cuomo, in a call with reporters, called on local governments to step up their efforts in enforcing the state’s social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines. A series of isolated incidents in downstate New York have been reported to the state in recent days, he said.

One, a concert in Suffolk County, caught Cuomo’s attention for its apparent disregard of the state’s regulations, coupled with no action from local authorities to enforce those rules.

Videos of the event posted on social media showed a large group of concert-goers in Southampton, where a band called the Chainsmokers was headlining for charity. It was supposed to be a drive-up concert, but that plan wasn’t enforced.

“The local law enforcement didn’t do anything when they saw they had an event out of control, and the rules were being violated,” Cuomo said. “It was grossly disrespectful to fellow New Yorkers.”

The state Department of Health has launched an investigation into why the town issued a permit for the event in the first place, and how that devolved into a mass gathering over the weekend.

Cuomo, meanwhile, continued on Tuesday to urge federal lawmakers to include billions of dollars in direct aid to the state and local governments in New York in the next stimulus bill, which is currently being negotiated in Washington.

Congress is scheduled to break for a few weeks in early August.