New York is considering replacing its 14-day mandatory quarantine with rapid testing because the current restrictions are ‘hurting the economy’.
Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters Wednesday that enforcing the current restrictions is problematic, according to WAMC. Cuomo also acknowledged that the quarantine period stops people traveling to the state for work.
He said of a switch to testing: ‘There’s new testing technology, there are rapid tests, is there a better, smarter way to handle a quarantine? None of this has been done before, so we’re figuring it out as it goes.’
At present, states are added to the quarantine list if they hit a threshold of averaging 10 or more new cases per day per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period.
States can also land on the quarantine list if 10% of tests came up positive on average over the past week.
But despite surging cases in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut Cuomo says New York won’t enforce the rules against those residents.
Experts say the state should ‘have a plan to use testing to determine in a short period of time if you are infected or you’re not’, Cuomo said.
He added: ‘Better than time, you should use testing. They have rapid tests that are very quick. It’s smarter to use testing than it is to just set timelines.’
Gov Andrew Cuomo said that enforcing the current restrictions is problematic. He also acknowledged that quarantine stops people traveling to NY for work. ‘Better than time, you should use testing’, he told reporters Wednesday
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut say they won’t attempt to impose quarantines on visitors from the three states. New Jersey and Connecticut have both reported spikes in COVID-19 cases this month and meet the threshold to be included on the tri-state travel advisory list. The list requires travelers from 38 states (above in red) where cases are rising to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival
New Jersey, New York and Connecticut had announced the joint travel advisory this summer at a time when the Northeast was seeing relatively low rates of infection while other parts of the country saw spikes. Now, two of those states meet the criteria to be placed on their own quarantine lists.
‘There is no practical way to quarantine New York from New Jersey and Connecticut,’ he told reporters in a conference call.
‘There are just too many interchanges, there are too many interconnections, there are too many people who live in one place and work in the other. It would have a disastrous effect on the economy.’
NYC has seen more than 260,000 cases of the virus; 23,949 people have died.
The new lockdown restrictions in Brooklyn. The red zone is where non-essential businesses remain closed. Yellow, which is now most of south Brooklyn, can resume indoor and outdoor dining and businesses can reopen
Earlier this month it was reported the number of homebuyers purchasing apartments in Manhattan has dropped by 46 per cent in the third quarter amid pandemic lockdowns.
Manhattan has been hit with high unemployment and growing problems with sanitation and public transit and has only had 10 per cent of workers return to their office buildings.
Connecticut has averaged 11.2 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week, while New Jersey has averaged 10.3, Pennsylvania has averaged 11.1 and Massachusetts has reached 9.9.
‘The norm in the country is going up,’ Cuomo said. ‘We are not going up the way the norm in the country is going up. And hence, they’re ‘quarantined’ from New York.’
NYC has been hit with high unemployment and growing problems with sanitation and public transit and has only had 10 per cent of workers return to their office buildings
While Cuomo’s Special Counsel Beth Garvey said during the call that both Connecticut and New Jersey would be ‘added’ to the list this week, Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi later clarified they would not be.
‘We hadn’t changed anything in our metrics,’ he told the Associated Press. ‘We’re going to acknowledge they meet the criteria. We’re not enforcing a quarantine order.’
Two different states are officially being added to New York’s list of 40 states and territories: Arizona, which has had a seven-day average of 10.9 new cases per 100,000 residents, and Maryland, which has had an average of 10.2.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday that was he talking with New Jersey and New York about making it easier for states to avoid getting on the quarantine list.
But Cuomo’s office said Monday that Lamont was only speaking for Connecticut.
Cuomo said he’ll be talking with Connecticut and New Jersey officials Tuesday and expects to ‘have more to say’ on travel rules by Wednesday.
He said they’ll be talking ‘about making it clear to the extent travel among the states or between the states is non-essential, it should be avoided.’
Cuomo said Wednesday he was easing lockdown restrictions in some of the Brooklyn and Queens COVID-19 ‘clusters’ that are driving New York’s infection rate up but keeping many closed in an effort to clamp down on the surge.
In Brooklyn, every neighborhood south of Prospect Park is in at least one phase of lockdown.
Most can now enter the ‘yellow zone’ which allows for religious gatherings at a capacity of 50 percent, resume indoor and outdoor dining following state rules and businesses are allowed to reopen.
There are no more ‘orange zones’ but central south Brooklyn – including Borough Park, Mapleton, and Midwood – remain ‘red’ which means non-essential businesses there are closed, schools are remote only and religious gathering can happen but only at 25 percent of a worship hall’s capacity or less.
In north Queens, some places have entered ‘yellow zones’ too.