October 6, 2020 8:00 pm – Travel advisory and cluster action initiative

This evening Governor Cuomo announced that New Mexico has been added to New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed.

 

The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

 

The full, updated travel advisory list is below:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

 

People caught violating the advisory risk civil penalties ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

 

There are exceptions to the travel advisory for essential businesses.  Guidance on travel to these states for essential employees can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

 

The State is also conducting focused testing in areas of hot spot communities and today announced a new cluster action initiative to address COVID-19 hot spots that have cropped up in the State.  The initiative is intended to attack clusters and stop any further spread of the virus, including new rules and restrictions directly targeted to areas with the highest concentration of COVID cases and the surrounding communities.

The initiative is composed of three steps:

  1. Take dramatic action within the cluster.
  2. Take action in the area surrounding the cluster to stop the spread.
  3. Take precautionary action in the outlying communities.

The initiative will divide clusters and the areas around them into three categories with successively higher restrictions within each one:

Red Zone — Cluster Itself

  • Houses of Worship: 25 percent capacity, 10 people maximum
  • Mass Gatherings: Prohibited
  • Businesses: Only essential businesses open
  • Dining: Takeout only
  • Schools: Closed, remote only

Orange Zone — Warning Zone

  • Houses of Worship: 33 percent capacity, 25 people maximum
  • Mass Gatherings: 10 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
  • Businesses: Closing high-risk non-essential businesses, such as gyms and personal care
  • Dining: Outdoor dining only, 4 person maximum per table
  • Schools: Closed, remote only

 

Yellow Zone — Precautionary Zone

  • Houses of Worship: 50 percent capacity
  • Mass Gatherings: 25 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
  • Businesses: Open
  • Dining: Indoor and outdoor dining, 4 person maximum per table
  • Schools: Open with mandatory weekly testing of students and teachers/staff for in-person settings. The New York State Department of Health will establish a percentage of teachers and students/staff who need to be tested by Friday.

Steuben County is not yet considered a COVID – 19 Hotspot but officials are encouraging residents to take extra precautions now to slow the spread and keep the county safe.  Residents should also monitor themselves for COVID related symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.  If you or someone close to you experiences any of these symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider.