Cuomo 'seriously considering' stopping visitors from COVID-19 hot spots like Florida

Berkeley Brean
Created: June 22, 2020 06:22 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — We are watching the number of people testing positive and getting hospitalized grow in places like Arizona and North Carolina.

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York State now has the lowest infection transmission rate in the country. 

Cuomo also says he is seriously considering imposing rules to control and maybe even stop people from Florida coming into New York. 
The reason? Increasing numbers of people testing positive for COVID-19. 

The governor talked about blocking visitors from Florida on MSNBC. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo: "We are seriously considering, and I'm talking to my neighboring states, because for one state to act it's more effective if we act as a regional collaboration and I'm talking to them about putting in guidelines so we don't' have people coming in from these other states."

In March, Florida mandated every traveler from New York be under a 14-day quarantine when he or she arrived in Florida. 

Here are the numbers now. 

Florida's positive case rate is going up. Based on research by Johns Hopkins University, CNBC reports Florida's "seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases increased nearly 87% compared with a week ago."

CNBC also reports Florida was among the first states to reopen.

Restaurants there started re-opening on May 4. 

Brean: "When you see things happen, like they're happening in Florida and Texas, where the numbers are going up, are you worried about that?"

Peter Gines, Jines Restaurant: "It's top of mind, without question."

Peter Gines owns Jines restaurant on Park Avenue. He opened outdoor seating in Phase Two in early June, a full month after Florida. 

"Biggest thing — masks have to be worn," Gines said. "We got a box of masks right out front. 'Oh, I forgot my mask.' 'Oh, it's in the car.' Here you go."

Here are the numbers the governor's office released Monday. 

Ten people died from COVID-19 in New York state Sunday. 

Gov. Cuomo says that's the lowest daily total since March 21. 

The infection rate is under 1%. 

And the number of people in hospitals is down. 

On Sunday, June 14, 144 people were hospitalized for COVID in Monroe County. 

On Saturday, June 20, it was 108. 

Meanwhile, CNBC reports the number of COVID cases in the country is going up. And hospitalizations are up in Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Texas and Utah. 

Brean: "You've seen the numbers we have in our area. What do the numbers tell us in terms of the health of our community and the health of our state?"

Bob Duffy, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce: "I think so far the numbers are great."

Bob Duffy is the head of Rochester, Finger Lakes control board. 

That's the group that compiles data for the governor's office and makes the case for re-opening. 

Bob Duffy: "I also, Berkeley, have to tell you. Everywhere I go I see people wearing masks, keeping their distance."

Watch Duffy tell the story of when he was confronted at Wegmans because he was wearing a mask on my Twitter page, @whec_bbrean.

The rule with most restaurants is: when you're outside at your table, you can take your mask off. 

"We've been coming here, what, every Monday for months?" Ken Meyers said at one of the sidewalk tables at Jines. "So finally everything opening up feels great."

Peter Gines, Jines Restaurant: "Hopefully, we don't have to take a step backward. Hopefully, we are continuing to grow and move forward and getting through this time."

I asked Bob Duffy about Phase Four. The earliest it can start is Friday. He says we're on pace, but he thinks the state will re-open Phase Four gradually because so many activities in Phase Four can attract larger crowds in one place. 

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