Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in New York State, US, add more states to mandatory traveler quarantine list July 21, to curb the spread of COVID-19.

  • Alert Begins: 21 Jul 2020 07:00 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): New York State (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Authorities in New York have issued an update to the list of states from which travelers are subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Virginia, and Washington were added to the list; Minnesota was removed from it.

All individuals entering New York from any state that has a positive COVID-19 test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or positivity rate of 10 percent or higher over a seven-day average, must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

The specific states affected by the directive as of July 21 are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The list of impacted states is revised every week, although it could change with little to no notice. State officers have been deployed to all airports throughout New York, ensuring travelers are following the guidance and completing a state's traveler form upon arrival. Travelers entering by trains and cars must also fill the form online.

Business restrictions continue to be eased. As of July 21, all regions, including New York City, have moved to Phase 4 of the state's economic recovery plan, enabling some arts and entertainment businesses to reopen, as well as social gatherings of up to 50 people to resume. However, in New York City, indoor malls remain closed and cultural events remain prohibited. As a prerequisite to reopening, individual regions in New York must meet seven specific criteria established as indicators of local capability to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Previous rounds of reopenings in New York have included lifting restrictions on some low-risk businesses and outdoor recreational activities statewide, such as landscaping, gardening, drive-in movie theaters, tennis courts, public pools, recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds, and veterinarian and dental practices. Professional sports teams are also allowed to resume training camps statewide, though without spectators. Graduation ceremonies with up to 150 attendants in outdoor locations are allowed.

Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, health care providers, banks, fuel stations, transportation providers, construction companies, and manufacturers, have not been subject to mandatory COVID-19-related closures. Authorities require all persons, including essential workers, to wear protective masks when in public and whenever they cannot adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Transport and business disruptions remain likely. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Heed the directives of the authorities. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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