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Pennsylvania Qualifies for New York's Quarantine List, But Travel Can Continue

NEW YORK NOW - Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that, while New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania are experiencing their own spike in COVID-19 cases, New York will not restrict travel from those states because of the number of people who go back and forth for business each day.

Instead, Cuomo said he’d speak with the governors of those neighboring states on how New York may be able to assist them in reducing their infection rates.

All three states are now at the threshold at which they would otherwise be added to New York’s quarantine list. As of Tuesday, 40 states and territories were on that list, according to Cuomo's office. The list requires visitors from those states to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in New York.

"This is really a bizarre outcome. New York had the highest infection rate. We now have 43 states on our quarantine list,” Cuomo said, adding an extra three for New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, even though they weren't added Tuesday.

According to the updated list, only a handful of other states remain off New York's quarantine list: Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, California, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Washington.

New York’s own number of cases has also gone up in recent weeks, but not as much as other states experiencing double digit infection rates.

The state has divided data on COVID-19 positivity into different categories since the clusters broke out in the Southern Tier and areas of downstate New York. Those so-called ‘microclusters,’ a term coined by Cuomo, are known as ‘red zones.’

Communities in the ‘red zones,’ had severe restrictions placed on mass gatherings, houses of worship and nonessential businesses almost two weeks ago. The rules essentially rolled those areas back into lockdown.

New York is set, on Wednesday, to announce changes to the current ‘red zones,’ which are in Brooklyn, Queens, Rockland County, Orange County, and Broome County. It’s possible that the state could lift some of the restrictions on those zones, or redraw them altogether.

In those ‘red zones,’ the positivity rate was 2.9% on Monday, down from previous days. But the statewide infection rate, including those ‘red zones,’ ticked up slightly Monday to 1.3%. There’s been an oversampling of new cases in the ‘red zones’ to trace the spread of the virus.

A new cluster of cases has been identified in Cortland County, where the infection rate jumped to 7% on Monday. Cuomo said that was because of infections tied to a SUNY school.

And while the COVID-19 crisis continues in New York, Cuomo said Tuesday that the state will extend its moratorium on commercial evictions until Jan. 1, 2021. That puts it in line with the moratorium on residential evictions.