COVID-19

Hawaii, Virgin Islands Added to Quarantine List as NY Virus Numbers Remain in Check

Two states and the island territory were added to the New York quarantine; four states were removed

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What to Know

  • The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut implemented a joint quarantine restriction last month on travelers from viral hotspot states; travelers from certain states must self-isolate for 14 days
  • The national death toll topped 156,000 this week, by NBC News estimates
  • Connecticut said Monday it issued the state's first fines to two violators who failed to fill out their travel form but it's unclear how many people have been fined across the tri-state

Some states on the tri-state's quarantine list have hit a plateau in coronavirus infections, and few of them have seen decreases in new cases -- but the list remains almost as long as ever.

As New York reports its lowest virus hospitalization and ICU numbers since the middle of March, the state added Hawaii, South Dakota and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the quarantine list on Tuesday. It removed Alaska, New Mexico, Ohio and Rhode Island.

Connecticut said Monday it issued the state's first fines to two violators who failed to fill out their travel form, but it's unclear how many people have been fined across the tri-state in total.

The two travelers, one from Florida and another from Louisiana, were issued a $1,000 fine each. One of them was hit with an additional $1,000 fine for refusing to self-quarantine for 14 days as required.

According to NBC News data, eight states and Puerto Rico are experiencing a percentage increase in coronavirus cases from over the past 14 days, and 20 states are seeing a plateau in cases, a sign of improvement from a few weeks ago when nearly 40 states were seeing an uptick in cases.

New York now has among the lowest infection rates in the nation, with less than 1% of residents testing positive for COVID-19 each day, including over 20,000 individuals statewide in July.

The infection rate in the Empire State is also low enough that Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that schools are able to offer at least some in-person learning this fall. But his administration's effort to provide guidance that is both flexible and clear for school districts has proved challenging, as some teachers and school leaders are calling for the state to set uniform policies on tricky issues including the protocol for handling children who test positive for COVID-19 and potentially shuttering schools.

As many as 1 in 7 New York school districts have yet to submit a plan to the state's health agency for the opening of the new school year, Cuomo said Monday before giving them a deadline for Friday.

Some school districts pushed back on the governor's announcement Monday and said they had documentation showing they submitted both required reopening plans.

“This has been frustrating for superintendents and their colleagues,” New York State Council of School Superintendents Spokesman Robert Lowry said. “And many of them feel that they’ve submitted those plans as required.”

But Cuomo senior advisor Rich Azzopardi defended the list of 107 schools as “accurate” and said it includes school districts that only filed education plans. A spokesperson for the governor said Tuesday that many of the districts on the initial list had since submitted their plans, and that remaining districts were expected to send in plans by mid-week.

Daily Percentage of Positive Tests by New York Region

With all of New York state in some phase of reopening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shifting his focus to monitoring test results on a daily basis across each region to identify potential hotspots before they emerge. Here's the latest tracking data by region. For the latest county-level results statewide, click here

Source: ny.gov

In a citywide survey of parents, 131,000 opted for blended learning, combining some in-class time with remote learning from home. Another 264,000 chose a fully remote option. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that 700,000 families were in support of having their children return to school, but that high number may be due to the fact that families who didn't fill out a survey were automatically enrolled for in-class learning.

"If they're offered the opportunity to opt out and they don't take it, that's a conscious act. This has been talked about for months and months," de Blasio said at a press conference Tuesday.

The battle to keep New York City school kids safe this fall is heating up. Andrew Siff reports.

As part of promising the safest plan in the nation, school officials said they have been conducting and attending meetings throughout the summer in an effort to get parents the information they need regarding schools reopening. They also said they have met regularly with union leaders for teachers and school administrators to address health and safety protocols, as well as to ensure that any guidance can be implemented at the schools.

Face coverings are mandatory for teachers, and strongly encouraged for students. In order for schools to stay open, the city overall must remain below the threshold of three percent of those testing positive for COVID-19.

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