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New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have doubled their quarantine list to include 16 states from which visitors are unwelcome unless they help prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.
The list was expanded just prior to a European Union decision to bar visitors from the U.S., with the world’s most virus cases, when it reopens to international travelers on Wednesday.
“As an increasing number of states around the country fight significant community spread, New York is taking action to maintain the precarious safety of its phased, data-driven reopening,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a news release.
The three Northeastern U.S. governors, who tamped down Covid-19 after swift and early case peaks, on June 24 issued advisories instructing people to self-isolate for 14 days if they were coming from eight states with recent virus spikes. Now, the affected states include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
Those states, many of which reopened early against the advice of health experts, now are reporting record cases. They landed on the Northeast list because their positive test rates were higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or they had a 10% or higher positivity rate on a seven-day rolling average, according to the states.
The order comes as the number of positive Covid-19 cases continues to remain low in New York state with 524 new cases and 13 virus-related deaths as of June 29. But New York reported that the number of virus patients hospitalized had increased Monday for the first time since April.
In New Jersey, 992 virus patients were hospitalized, the second straight day the figure has fallen below 1,000. But the transmission rate has risen to 0.88 after having reached 0.62 on June 11. If the rate reaches 1, it means the virus is spreading. As the virus took hold in New Jersey in March, each virus-carrying person was passing the virus to at least five people.
Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday reported 13,181 dead had tested positive for coronavirus and 1,854 fatalities with a probable but untested link. Murphy indefinitely halted a planned July 2 return to indoor dining, citing case spikes in the South and West and “knuckleheads” in his own state shown on social media disregarding social distancing at outdoor venues.
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