The state of New York could soon be seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases due to surges of positive cases in the southern and western states, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned this week.
In an interview on Friday, Cuomo said that despite the state’s efforts to protect against a new spread of coronavirus cases — which included a mandate that visitors from a host of states quarantine after arriving in New York — it was likely that cases would be on the rise in the Empire State.
Cuomo said it would be impossible to keep out visitors from other states, and that some would inevitably bring the virus with them.
“Look, we’re doing everything we can. The quarantine, we have an enforcement mechanism. But, you know, how do you catch somebody driving in, right? I mean, it’s very very difficult, it’s trying to catch water in a screen,” Cuomo said in a radio interview, via the New York Post.
“You’re going to see our numbers and the Northeast numbers probably start to increase because the virus that you see now in the south and the west, California has real trouble, it’s going to come back here.”
New York had been the epicenter of the outbreak in late March and April, with cases in the greater New York City area among the highest in the world, but the state had turned the curve in recent months through strict lockdowns and social distancing measures. Cuomo was among the first governors to mandate residents wear masks in public, and the state has gone through an extended and gradual reopening, with many malls not opening until this Friday.
Cuomo has also pushed back a decision on whether schools in the state will reopen in the fall, saying there would not be a determination made until August.
Though the number of new cases has remained largely flat in New York for weeks, other states that moved more rapidly on reopening have been seeing surges. The state of Texas, which first began allowing businesses to reopen on May 1 against the warning of many public health experts, has seen such a sharp rise in cases that Governor Greg Abbott warned on Friday they may need to return to a lockdown in order to control the spread.
The state of Florida, which in March had set up highway checkpoints to screen for visitors from New York, has also seen a dramatic rise in cases after its reopening. Florida is now among the 19 states on the quarantine list for New York.