Tuesday, October 20, 2020

When "Here" Becomes "There" and Vice Versa

Tuesday is the day when New York State revises its COVID-19 Travel Advisory List, indicating which states and territories have met the threshold that requires incoming travelers to quarantine: at least 10 daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents over the past week. This is what the map of the country looked like last week. The vast majority of the fifty states--thirty-six, to be exact--were on New York's restricted list.

Today, five more states have exceeded the threshold: Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Arizona, and New Jersey. Maryland and Arizona have been on and off the list a few times since June. The real newcomers are Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Jersey--all states that border New York. What's more, Connecticut and New Jersey have been partners with New York in the travel advisory ever since June, when the first travel advisory was issued.

The Democrat & Chronicle reported today that, given the dilemma, Connecticut governor Ned Lamont has proposed changing the metrics for making the quarantine list to include only "states that surpass the 10 case mark and have 5 percent of their weekly COVID-19 tests come back positive."

Governor Andrew Cuomo has acknowledged that New York may not be able to do much to stop travel between neighboring states. He is quoted in the Democrat & Chronicle as saying, "If you were to limit access to New Jersey or Connecticut, I don't know to what extent it would even be possible to do border patrol because you don't have (air travel) there and it would also be seriously disruptive to the economy."

Meanwhile, on Vermont's interactive travel map, Columbia County is now red. According to the algorithm used by Vermont, we now have 1,161 active cases per million. 

According to the Columbia County Department of Health, we had 32 active cases yesterday, out of a population of a little less than 60,000.

Update: The Times Union is now reporting that five states have been added to the Travel Advisory List but did not specify which five: "Cuomo: 43 states on quarantine list but Connecticut and New Jersey get a pass." 

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