Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 10 states have been added to New York’s quarantine list and four bars have been ordered closed in an attempt to keep the coronavirus from spreading again in the state.
The 10 additional states where travelers into New York are subject to a mandatory quarantine are Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Virginia and Washington, bringing the total to 31 states. Florida, Texas and California are among the states already on the list.
Cuomo said he’s looking at whether to add the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico to the quarantine regulations as the virus spikes there. New York is home to the most Puerto Ricans in the United States outside of the island, and the governor has been very supportive of Puerto Rico, traveling there frequently after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
But Cuomo said it’s not about playing favorites.
“We look at the numbers, we follow the science,” Cuomo said. “There’s no like or dislike, or favorite state or unfavorite state. It’s just a function of math.”
Minnesota has been taken off the quarantine list as the number of infections continues to decline there.
The governor also announced that four bars on Long Island and in Queens have had their liquor licenses suspended for violating COVID-19 safety rules and allowing large groups to congregate. Cuomo continued to express worries that bars that are violating social distancing rules will lead to an uptick in the spread of the disease.
He said the drinking establishments are taking advantage of a loophole in New York’s laws. The state Liquor Authority issues just one type of license to bars and restaurants. He said reopening rules allowed for outdoor dining, but not outdoor bar service.
“They were never supposed to institute outdoor drinking,” Cuomo said. “They exploited the existing regulation.”
For now, the governor has not followed through with a threat to rescind outdoor dining.
The announcements come on a day that deaths from COVID-19 reached what the governor said is a “significant milestone.” Two New Yorkers died from the disease on Monday.
“Obviously that’s two too many,” said Cuomo, who added there were 800 deaths on some days in April.
Across the state, 724 remain hospitalized with the disease, and the rate of transmission is at 1.2%.