Should Governor Cuomo Have Quarantined After His Day Trip To Georgia?

Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

New York has done some amazing things during this COVID-19 pandemic. We have effectively flattened the curve and continue to do so by all of us being responsible and doing what we need to do. We're wearing masks, we're social distancing, and it's working. The Governor's phase reopening plan seems to working as well.

One thing we can't help is how other states are handling things. Most of our neighbors in the Northeast are doing well, but other areas around the country are seeing a surge in positive cases and have asked for assistance. This is exactly what happened to New York back in March and we also asked for assistance and states around the country came to our aid. Now New York is returning the favor.

A very hard hit area right now is Georgia. Yesterday (Monday July 20, 2020) Governor Cuomo went to Savannah, Georgia to deliver PPE and visit with the mayor. When asked if he was going to do the 14 day quarantine when he got back he said no, that he's an essential worker.

Right now there is a very well documented Travel Advisory in New York. That same advisory is also in place for New Jersey and Connecticut. There are 22 total states that require mandatory quarantine upon entry into New York. Georgia is one of those states. The state is also cracking down on travelers from these states who won't quarantine or give out their information by imposing a fine of $2,000.

However under the travel advisory it says:

The requirements of the travel advisory do not apply to any individual passing through designated states for a limited duration (i.e., less than 24 hours) through the course of travel.
Examples of such brief passage include but are not limited to: stopping at rest stops for vehicles, buses, and/or trains; or lay-overs for air travel, bus travel, or train travel.

Under the travel advisory (you can read the whole thing, just click here) the governor and the staff that traveled with him aren't required to do a quarantine. The same would go for essential workers under that guidance. But there are some things that essential workers do need to do upon returning. A lot of this has to do with your individual employer and what their policy is, but for New York state workers this is it.

Long Term – for essential workers traveling to New York State for a period of greater than 36 hours, requiring them to stay several days.

  • This includes instances such as an essential worker working on longer projects, fulfilling extended employment obligations, and other longer duration activities.
  • Essential workers should seek diagnostic testing for COVID-19 as soon as possible upon arrival (within 24 hours) to ensure they are not positive.
  • Essential workers should monitor temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distancing, clean and disinfect workspaces for a minimum of 14 days.
  • Essential workers, to the extent possible, are required to avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings for a period of, at least, 14 days.

Personally I wish that Governor Cuomo didn't travel to Georgia. It could have been done via a Zoom meeting like so many things are these days, including visits to a doctor. The supplies could have arrived without him there. I agree with all the steps NY and the Governor have taken during this pandemic, and the results of out current infection rate show it worked. However this is bad form, in my opinion. He should lead by example and even though he doesn't have to, he could have said "yes I will quarantine." I think it would have gone a long way with the crowd of loud people who do nothing but criticize him on a daily basis. He's only given them more fuel for their fire.

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