After clearing the way for New York City to enter Phase 2 of its reopening, Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledged that he is considering imposing mandatory 14-day quarantines on travelers from states where coronavirus infections are on the rise.
New York has so far endured the most COVID-19 deaths in the nation, with nearly 25,000 confirmed since March. (Neighboring New Jersey has endured the second most COVID deaths in the nation, and the most per capita of any state.)
But after some three months of draconian restrictions on residents and businesses, New York's coronavirus decline has been the most significant in the nation.
Gov. Cuomo said he's concerned about rising COVID rates around the nation, especially in Florida, which just reported more than 3,800 new confirmed coronavirus infections in one day.
This spring, Florida and many other states imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from New York and New Jersey. Noting how Tri-State area congestion lends itself to transmission of the virus, Cuomo is considering instituting a similar measure in his state.
Declining cases belie the ongoing threat the virus poses. Cuomo has often compared the virus's infectious potential to an ember among dry grass; it takes only a spark to set an entire field on fire.
He noted Friday, at his 111th consecutive daily press briefing, that the state's success so far is a credit to the sacrifices of everyday New Yorkers, who dramatically changed their behavior to keep themselves and their neighbors safe.
"We all benefit when we work together. We showed that in the end, love does win — that no matter how dark the day, love brings the light," Cuomo said."That is what I take from the past 111 days. If we could accomplish this impossible task of beating back this deadly virus, there is nothing we can't do. And we will be better."
As of Friday, New York has the lowest coronavirus transmission rate in the nation and more testing per capita than anywhere in the world.
Two months after reported daily death tolls close to 800, daily COVID-19 deaths in New York are in the low double digits.
Most of the state's rural and suburban counties are more than halfway back from CDC-recommended restrictions.
New York City's own entrance into Phase 2 came after weeks of crowded protests did not appear to drastically affect the city's COVID data.
The Big Apple reopening much of its restaurant industry in Phase 2 is an encouraging sign for the nation, but officials are closely monitoring the numbers, determined to respond locally to any new virus hotspots.
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