As New York City prepares to enter Phase II of reopening, a delicate process that that state is taking slowly and carefully, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is mulling the possibility of implementing a quarantine for travelers coming from states that haven't been as cautious when it came to restarts, and are becoming new hot spots.
Cuomo said Thursday he's concerned about rising COVID rates in Florida and considering imposing a 14-day self-quarantine for people who travel from there to New York. Coronavirus cases in the Sunshine State are nearly four times higher than the Empire State's over the past eight days.
Ironically, Florida was among the states that did impose a quarantine for New York travelers early in the pandemic as the virus ran rampant across the five boroughs, he said.
"Fast forward, now we're afraid they're bringing it to our state," Cuomo added. "I haven't made a decision yet, but have had experts advise me of that. It is a real concern, you're right it could happen."
He said he has started thinking about it as others have told him it as an option to prevent the state from seeing a possible uptick in cases — something it has avoided in every region as reopening has gotten under way.
"This country has to wake up. Wake up and smell the coffee," Cuomo said of states that are experiencing such a surge. Cases in Florida spiked to the state's record high this week. Texas — another state that imposed a quarantine on New York and New Jersey travelers earlier on — and about 20 other states are also seeing increases in the number of cases and hospitalizations.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tossed around the idea of imposing a quarantine on states like Florida and Texas after seeing pictures of packed beaches in April.
Some passengers coming from Fort Lauderdale Thursday night said they're not on board with the quarantine merry-go-round.
"To force someone to be quarantined without knowing what they've done in Florida, that's kind of pressing their rights," traveler Katrina Berthe said.
"If you're quarantining people coming from Florida, then you should also be quarantining people coming from New York as well," another passenger said.
Cuomo did not specify when he might come to a decision regarding a quarantine.