ALBANY — Hawaii, South Dakota and the Virgin Islands were added to New York’s COVID-19 travel quarantine list Tuesday while Alaska, New Mexico, Ohio and Rhode Island were removed.
The list is based on the number of infections in a given state or territory and has changed regularly since the governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York jointly announced the first nine states on June 19.
The move was designed to limit the chances of the virus being reintroduced to the three states — which suffered large numbers of infections and deaths early in the pandemic but made great progress beating it back — from the many states where the infection rate is high.
California, Florida and Texas have all surpassed New York in total number of confirmed infections, and over the last seven days, 24 states have reported more new infections than New York. However, New York’s death toll and its death rate per 100,000 residents remains the highest of any state by a wide margin.
In other COVID-related developments Tuesday:
The CDTA said it would return to front-door boarding of its buses and resume collecting fares on Aug. 19. The transit agency stopped collecting fares April 6, when it began having passengers board buses through the rear door as an infection control measure. Average weekday ridership fell from 55,000 in normal times to less than 25,000 as the pandemic set in in early April; it has since rebounded to over 35,000 and CDTA expects it to increase to 40,000 with more people returning to work.
Schenectady County saw a jump in positive test results, 15 in one day, giving it the second-highest positive test percentage of any county in the state for Monday. County officials say five of those infected were members of the same family but they haven’t found any links among the other 10. Schenectady County has been reporting very few positives most days for more than two months, with an occasional one- or two-day blip up.
Test rates in other Capital Region counties ranged from 0 percent to 1.2 percent positive Monday, giving the region as a whole a positive test rate of 1.2 percent. Some 34 people were hospitalized with the virus across the Capital Region.
Saratoga County Health officials warned of low-risk potential exposures to COVID at the Wilton Burger King, where an employee tested positive for the virus. Officials said the periods of concern are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 24, 29, 30 and 31. The employee was working then, but wore a mask at all times.
Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, repeated the call he and other legislators have made for an independent investigation of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes. The joint Assembly-Senate hearings held Aug. 3 and 10 to explore the issue were a sham, Tague charged, with no representative of the Department of Health even present at the second hearing.
Anyone who has spent more than a brief amount of time in any of places listed on New York’s travel advisory is required to quarantine themselves upon arrival in New York state, whether they live here or are visiting here. Those who don’t follow the restrictions face fines. Essential workers are exempted.
The territories and states on New York’s travel quarantine list are:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Virgin Islands