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New York considers quarantine for Florida travelers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says

Jon Campbell New York State Team
Walton Sun

New York is considering whether to order travelers from Florida to quarantine when entering the state to limit the spread of the coronavirus, three months after Florida imposed a similar order on New York travelers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday he has been advised by unnamed experts to require Florida travelers to isolate upon reaching New York. Florida is dealing with its highest number of daily COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the outbreak.

Cuomo, a Democrat, acknowledged the conversation is a "complete 180" from late March, when New York was the hardest-hit state in the nation and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, mandated quarantines for those traveling from New York.

"I haven’t made a decision yet but I have had experts advise me of that," Cuomo said Thursday when asked if would turn the tables on Florida. "It is a real concern. You’re right, it could happen and it is something I’m considering.”

Florida issued order in late March

DeSantis first issued an executive order March 23 requiring anyone traveling to Florida from an "area with substantial community spread" of COVID-19 to isolate for 14 days after entering the state.

His order, which remains in effect, specifically included the "New York Tri-State Area," which at the time was the nation's preeminent coronavirus hotspot.

New York has seen more than 24,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and more than 385,000 confirmed cases, ranking it ahead of all other states.

But the state's infection rate has slowed considerably in the last month.

On Thursday, New York said it tested 68,541 people for COVID-19 the prior day. Of those, only 614 — less than 1% — came back positive, according to the state Department of Health.

By contrast, Florida reported 3,207 new coronavirus cases Thursday, topping the state's previous record of 2,783 just two days earlier.

DeSantis' office did not immediate return a request for comment.

Cuomo was angered by other states' orders

Cuomo, meanwhile, had reacted angrily in March when states began imposing travel restrictions on New York residents.

In late March, Rhode Island police began stopping people with New York license plates as they entered the state, ordering them to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Cuomo vowed to sue the state, accusing Raimondo's order of violating the Constitution. Raimondo quickly broadened the order to apply to all out-of-state travelers, not just those from New York.

At the same time, President Donald Trump floated the idea of an "enforceable quarantine" in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, though he ultimately opted for an advisory urging residents to avoid unnecessary travel.

"No one is going to attack New York unfairly and no one is going to deprive New York of what it needs," Cuomo said at the time.

Jon Campbell is a New York state government reporter for the USA TODAY Network. He can be reached at JCAMPBELL1@Gannett.com or on Twitter at @JonCampbellGAN.

This story originally published to democratandchronicle.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.