New York Adds Coronavirus Quarantine Checkpoints

Filed Under: Travel

Update: New York is eliminating its domestic travel quarantine requirement as of April 1, 2021.

Not only are Americans banned from visiting most of Europe, but we’re increasingly seeing domestic travel restrictions as well, as many states see a surge in coronavirus cases.

In late June New York announced a travel quarantine, and that has now been modified once again. On top of that, we’re seeing some coronavirus checkpoints being set up in New York City.

Tri-state 14-day quarantine requirement

First let’s recap the initial policy. On June 24 it was announced that travelers arriving in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, from regions with high COVID-19 infection rates, would be subjected to a 14-day quarantine.

A few months ago New York had among the highest cases of coronavirus, with some days seeing more than 10,000 new cases. At this point New York is consistently down to fewer than 1,000 cases per day, while states like Florida are seeing more cases than ever before.

As Governor Cuomo explained this move at the time:

“We worked very hard to get the viral transmission rate down. We don’t want to see it go up because a lot of people come into this region and they can literally bring the infection with them.”

The reason all three states introduced this policy at the same time is because “what happens in New York happens in New Jersey and happens in Connecticut.”

While many may wonder about the implications of this on the economy, this all comes on the heels of a major economic study that determined that state reopenings have done little to boost the economy. Rather the bigger issue is that more needs to be done to restore safety and consumer confidence, in order for people to spend more.

34 states now subjected to quarantine

The 14-day quarantine requirement is based on the number of new cases per 100,000 residents in states over the past seven days. The list:

  • Initially had just nine states on it
  • Then we saw the list expanded to 22 states
  • Then we saw the list expanded to 31 states
  • Then it was expanded to 34 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington DC

Well, the list has now been modified again — Delaware and Washington DC have been removed from the list, while Rhode Island has been added.

In addition to Puerto Rico, the quarantine requirement now applies to the following 34 states:

  • Alaska
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

The constant updates of states sure makes it impossible to plan future travel there, since you don’t know if you’ll be subjected to a 14-day quarantine or not.

New York City adds coronavirus checkpoints

As you’d expect, enforcement of this quarantine requirement has been a real challenge. While New York has threatened fines of up to $10,000 for breaking the quarantine requirement, at least up until last week the state hadn’t actually issued any fines.

Those flying into New York have to fill out a form sharing their information and where they’ll be staying. New York has threatened to fine people $2,000 if they don’t fill out that form.

At least New York City is now adding another layer to this. New York City is setting up “traveler registration checkpoints” at bridges and tunnels. This isn’t quite as strict as it sounds, though. Some cars may be stopped, and passengers will simply be reminded of the quarantine rules — it sounds like there won’t actually be any enforcement.

While May0r Bill de Blasio announced the plan last night, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey wasn’t informed of the plans at the time, so we’ll see how this works out.

Bottom line

Since late June, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, have been requiring a 14-day quarantine for visitors from states with high COVID-19 infection rates. The travel list now includes 34 states plus Puerto Rico.

There’s a threat of a $2,000 fine for not filling out the form sharing contact information when arriving in the state. New York City is now also setting up checkpoints at bridges and tunnels so travelers can be reminded of the quarantine rules, though it sounds like there won’t actually be much enforcement going on there.

What do you make of this tri-state 14-day quarantine?

  1. So the states that had the highest rates early on and now most of their population are immune are afraid? That seems backward.

  2. Limited practical effect. I doubt that anyone from any other state is in a hurry to visit NY or NJ.

  3. So all those folks from NY/NJ/CT who contaminated people in FL by escaping those early hotspot states are now going to have to self-isolate. Sounds fair to me…

  4. @scruce goods

    Immunity is not guaranteed from infection. Immunity from infection is under ongoing research. A new paper has recently come out that suggests that immunity may fade after a few months (which makes sense given the behaviour of how other coronaviruses behave).

    Not only that, “most of their population[s]” weren’t infected despite having such high rates of infections than other places. For example, NYC has reported just over 200,000 cases. The population of just NYC is nearly 9 million people. That’s 2% of the population of NYC. There have been ~388,000 in the entire state. This doesn’t even come close to “most of the population” for NYC. Not even if a severe underestimation had occurred.

  5. This will give the EU even more motivation to carry out with their plan. To all of you freedom loving maskless warriors…I hope you enjoy your “new” freedom of being shunned and kept at bay in the confinement of your state’s complete disregard of science.

  6. Nobody in the US is “banned” from those states. If you are coming from states with a high number of COVID cases based on a weekly calculation then you have a mandatory 2 week self quarantine. That is not a ban. Its a quarantine requirement. In terms lack of compliance people can expect to be hit with significant fines and to be forced into mandatory quarantine at their own expense. Seriously any idiot going to a state that has quarantine requirements from a state with a COVID problem deserves no sympathy if they violate the quarantine.

  7. @Spruce Goods – What evidence do you have that “states that had the highest rates early on and now most of their population are immune (are afraid)?”

  8. It’s a no-brainer how Hawaii can enforce their quarantine rule. How will this work in New York if you cross the border in a car? Are they closing the interstates? In any event, I can’t imagine Americans are much interested in visiting a mostly closed down NYC any time soon. No big loss.

  9. NY/NJ/Northeast USA actually did a decent job as far as “flattening the curve.”

    FL/TX/CA is an international embarrassment.

    I wonder if EU/rest of the world can somehow make a concession on a state-by-state basis? Seems almost unfair that Hawaiians/NYers have to suffer the same ban/restriction because Karen in South Beach doesn’t want to wear a mask…

  10. Another “amazing” idea of “smart” politicians that makes no sense. Yes, Hawaii can control their inflow since they are an island and the only way you can get there is by plane. How will they control people traveling by car, bus, train or even plane if it is not a direct flight from one of the listed states? Lipstick on a pig!!!!! BTW, these states infected most of the other states and are now trying to blame others. I know people in my state that brought Covid from NY since they were attending College there.

  11. NJ has opened horse racing and car racing, and they are going to open AC casinos on July 4th.
    Philly is going to open on July 3rd in order to get tourism around Independence Hall.
    NYC basically unofficially opened since NYPD don’t care about these violations anymore.

    These governors only care about holiday money, not resident’s health.
    Wait to see, after July 4th, positive numbers must increase A LOT.

  12. “NY/NJ/Northeast USA actually did a decent job as far as “flattening the curve.”

    FL/TX/CA is an international embarrassment.”


  13. ” For example, NYC has reported just over 200,000 cases. The population of just NYC is nearly 9 million people. That’s 2% of the population of NYC.”

    Reported cases, yeah. We all know that this number is just as good as the testing strategy applied. Wasn’t there a study based on antibody testing claiming that over 20% of NYC residents have been infected?

  14. So the states that had the highest rates early on and now most of their population are immune are afraid? That seems backward.
    – Spruce Goods

    I live in NYC, I’ve never had the virus, and I’d like to keep it that way. I get the PCR swab and antibody assay tests every two weeks. I wear a mask every time I go in public, as does literally everyone here. I went to the pharmacy yesterday and I didn’t see a single person without a mask. If you want to be stupid, keep it in your state.

    Limited practical effect. I doubt that anyone from any other state is in a hurry to visit NY or NJ.
    – JetAway

    My girlfriend is visiting from Missouri next week for the Fourth of July holiday, actually.

  15. @ Stuart, I live in Manhattan and was lectured earlier this week by someone behind me at the bank. All I did was ask him if he had a mask he could put on and he looked at me like I was from Mars. He also didn’t bother to social distance even though there were huge yellow icons on the floor. I recon we are screwed for some time to come. Also, there is noway to enforce a 14 day quarantine in NY and with the fine being so low, well good luck to us.

    I grew up in Toronto and my friends were telling me there is an inspection unit that follows up to see if you are abiding by quarantining after arrival in Toronto by air (the land border is closed, but you can still fly to Canada) if they show up and you aren’t at the address you gave customs/immigration on arrival, then you are subject to up to six months in jail and up to a 750K fine. They aren’t messing around.

  16. Long time lurker and lifetime traveler. I’ve enjoyed this site for several years, and almost unfailingly, Ben and his team have done a wonderful job in putting together an informative, enriching, and fun place. This is a place where those of us who want to travel and maximize our experiences while doing so can gather and exchange information, while Ben is able to pursue his passion. Unfortunately, in the last four months, the open cesspool of domestic US politics has bubbled over into the comments – and frankly, I’ve looked to travel and specifically this site to get away from that sewage. Surely, life lately is different and there is much frustration. However, name-calling and regionalism does little to support the vision of this site and gives me little incentive to return. For now, I’ll be going elsewhere to get my travel information, offers, and advice. Sorry Ben – maybe I’ll be back in a few months.

  17. Huh… pretty sure WA has lower rate than the tri-state area. Not that I was planning on visiting there at any rate?

    I actually wish WA would do this since we have so many flights per day to AZ.

  18. “While everyone will hopefully observe this requirement…”

    How likely do think that is?

    This is America, where spoiled, entitled idiots don’t think any rules apply to them.

    If you expect any degree of compliance, you need to back it up with real, toothy enforcement and harsh consequences. Otherwise, it’s just a polite request that will be ignored. I thin you’ve seen this personally a lot lately, no?

  19. We will be traveling from IN to CT next month. So far rates in IN are steady. I think CT/NY/NJ are doing the right thing.

  20. @grrizzly

    You are referring to total numbers, where yes, NY for example got hit much harder. But now, in the past week, they are getting around 600-800 cases a day, down from 10k/day during peak. FL is now getting 3800-4000 cases a day. Did you finish high school? Or do I have to explain further what “flattening the curve” means?

  21. @Spruce Goods – What in the world are you talking about? Very few of us are immune in NY, partially because we took such stringent measures to flatten the curve and avoid infection. The antibody positive rate is very low (and thats not even considering the risk of false positives). So yes, we would like to keep that infection rate low, and not have to share the consequences of states that decided to reopen too early.

  22. @Jan – “I wonder if EU/rest of the world can somehow make a concession on a state-by-state basis?”

    No way Trump would allow that. Actually, there’s no way ANY President (of either party) could allow that. No way the US could ever sanction allowing other countries to treat Americans differently based on which state they come from. Even a lot of people who oppose Trump would have problems with that.

  23. @Rob – the issue in WA state is a recent huge spike in Yakima county, and lesser spikes in a few other nearby, rural eastern and central WA counties. This is likely driven by agricultural workers to a great extent – picking fruit right now and working in meat packing facilities. The virus spread there and hospitalizations are blowing up.

    Most of the rest of the state (western WA, the rainy, green, populated parts – what most non-residents think of when they think of the state) is doing OK.

    Just yesterday the governor mandated mask wearing whenever in public, statewide. This is now a legal requirement, previously was just a request. Maybe that will help somewhat, but I worry it will not have any enforcement behind it, and it will be ignored in the Trumpy parts of the state.

  24. @Alliw — The relevant metric is new cases per 100k residents. CA might have a high number of new cases, but its population is so large that the number of new cases per 100k is actually not that high. Its % of positive tests is also nowhere near as high as states like AZ, TX, and FL. ( Of course, things are changing daily…which leads me to wonder how NY, NJ, and CT will actually enforce this quarantine. How will they figure out where visitors have been and keep in contact with them? What if a state wasn’t on the list when someone enters the tri-state area but is added to the list, say, 3 days later? It seems like to me that NY, NJ, and CT are hoping that the rule will discourage non-essential travel to the region altogether, as opposed to them actually having to enforce the rule.

  25. @grrizzly – Nice straw man. The topic at had is other places (whether the EU, or NY) trying to quarantine visitors from other places (USA, or other states) that has a huge spike in cases. and the states I mentioned, FL/TX/CA, is getting spikes in cases.

  26. @Jan – What are you talking about? You are the one who claimed that NY/NJ did a good job at flattening the curve. That’s laughable, and proof you haven’t a clue what flattening the curve means. Even the numbers you provide are proof they did an absolutely abysmal job.

  27. Also, keep in mind that if you fly into one of these states, or if you cross a bridge/tunnel with a toll, a record of your entrance will exist. As such, proving violations will not be difficult.

  28. So, how this will work for connecting passengers? Let’s say you travel from IAH to EWR to continue on to Europe?

  29. Earlier on when RI put a quarantine requirement on people coming from CT/NJ/NY, at the state borders and at PVD, National Guard were deployed to find out where they were staying and following up to ensure it was being followed. Also in Newport, the police were patrolling and knocking on peoples homes if there was an out of state license plate. RI did end up with very high case /1M and deaths /1M, as it is the second highest densely populated state. We also have the highest test rate /1M. The last 14 days the number of new cases has been double digits. Today Gov. Gina will likely put new restrictions on beach going because this past weekend people were not following mask and social distancing protocols.

  30. The DOJ just called this unconstitutional in Hawaii (restricts interstate travel and commerce). Sounds like NY needs to waste more taxpayer money fighting something that they have no chance of winning – and of course they will ask the Federal government to reimburse them with bailouts.

  31. @Jan

    Deaths/1 million pop (daily avg., week ending 6/23) & rank among US states:

    #2 New Jersey 3.7/m
    #6 Connecticut 2.7/m
    #7 New York 2.4/m

    Those 3 states are still near the top of the daily deaths per capita.

    That’s last week. Not overall. Check your data before pontificating.


  32. Why wouldn’t anyone be interested in visiting for fun right now? The Finger Lakes, Thousand Islands/St. Lawrence, Lake Ontario, and Adirondacks are absolutely wonderful this time of year, and summer means it is peak outdoor vacation season. New York is a big, beautiful place.

  33. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is being treated like some COVID-19 God, but look at the figures. NY, CT, MA and NJ are a mess, and just now re-opening which means an uptick is coming. AZ, CA, TX, FL still don’t have the numbers or the death rate of east coast. Reguardless, people need to stop listen to Tronald Dump (Dump Trump 2020) and start wearing masks, limiting travel and exposure until treatments and a vaccine are available. I say this as an AZ Republican who is tired of the stupidity, especially among young people. Let’s be smart, call out people who aren’t taking are of themselves or you. GET YOUR MASK ON!

  34. Perhaps, the truck drivers should simply stop from taking any goods into those states to avoid 14 day quarantine. This should also keep New Yorkers from coming to the beaches in North and South Carolina and Florida.

  35. @ Spruced Goods:

    “So the states that had the highest rates early on and now most of their population are immune are afraid? That seems backward.”

    Please provide evidence that “most of their population is immune.” Or do you just make this stuff up and hope not to be called on it?

  36. The DOJ has been saying a lot of legally dubious things lately. Generally speaking, states are given quite a bit of leeway when emergency events like a pandemic are involved.

    Christ. Is anybody else tired of this incompetence?

  37. Washington State is not spiking. As others have noted, numbers are mostly up a bit because of an outbreak in one small rural city. Interestingly though, we test pretty well and the testing shows that our statewide COVID-19 numbers never really went down below approx 250 new cases a day for a prolonged period. They did dip below but then went back up. This despite most parts of WA being very mask friendly and the state being quite conservative with its phased reopening. So even in a state with a delayed and tight reopening, the virus didn’t ‘go away’. A cautionary tale I think.

  38. Not sure why all these snowflakes get so offended when “their” region gets attacked.
    No one is banning interstate travel.
    If you go from a hotspot to non-hotspot, you are advised to quarantine.
    No one is jailing you.

    Using the per capita death stats to assess current COVID management is idiotic.
    Many deaths happened in NY/NJ, but to ignore how much their numbers have improved recently is simply political.

  39. Wonder if AA at EWR shut down? Quarantine will affect loads on AA’s EWR – Charlotte (NC), Phoenix (AZ), Dallas (TX) & Miami (FL) flights. Out EWR I guess only ORD will stay unaffected?

  40. The USA has the most toxic culture and citizens on the entire planet. We are a third world country with fancy gadgets. Our idiot in chief is a perfect reflection of this dysfunction. Our completely out of control Covid pandemic, unlike anywhere else on the planet (exception Brazil), is a perfect mirror as to where we are at. Perhaps, this can be a time for reflection on what it means to be a member of a society, to care for each other, and to get rid of old racist, sexist, class based systems which don’t serve humanity and only make us physically, mentally and spiritually sicker. Meanwhile, I will not be travelling at all because, as a medical professional, I know damn well self centered Americans cannot be trusted to adhere to science or facts and will gladly abuse their “freedumb”. These empowered ignoramuses willfully place the lives of their neighbors in mortal jeopardy . I am exhausted from American narcissism, greed and stupidity.

  41. All those saying show evidence – 1% positive test results for the states that saw an early surge in cases and there are several studies showing once you have had the virus you are immune.

  42. And some people where wondering if there where going to Europe this summer. The question is now is it going to happen before the end of 2020…

  43. @Pete,

    “ Many deaths happened in NY/NJ, but to ignore how much their numbers have improved recently is simply political.”

    Have the per capita death stats in NY/CT/NJ improved a lot? Yes!

    Are their latest per capita death stats still among the worst in the US? Yes!

    More than one thing can be true.

  44. Jan you still have no idea what flattening the curve was supposedly about. It is not about lowering infections or death rates. It was about spreading them out over time so as to not overwhelm the healthcare system.

    Will this blog ever return to normal? It used to be the highlight of my day. Now it is full of commenters who will never travel again. Why are you still here?

  45. Yawn – FL put in a quarantine requirement for NY/NJ/CT as did TX (plus a few other places) so Cuomo was looking for a reason to do the same.

    Take reasonable steps but understand the virus will spread and you will likely get it regardless of what you do. Take solice in the fact that 85-90% of people have no symptoms to moderate ones (much higher percentage if you exclude the very elderly (over 80) and those with pre-existing conditions.

    Everyone is so scared of their shadow. I fully understand the science and do my part to stay away from people but also am traveling (including to casinos) and would not hesitate to do whatever, wherever I want (again I’ll wear a mask, distance, etc.). You can’t live your life worried about everything so get out there and enjoy life. If you get it you get it – sorry but that is my feeling and I don’t lose one minute of sleep worrying about it.

    For those whining about how Americans can’t travel internationally and how it is due to our failure to follow rules first of all the US is established as 50 different states for a reason and it is up to each one to do what is best for their citizens so this was never about a federal mandate. Secondly, so what if you can’t travel internationally for even maybe 18 months or so. Is that REALLY that big a deal? By then either their will be a vaccine or the virus will have largely run its course. Also, this is part of natural selection – nature always prunes the herd and this will largely take out the weakest and most vulnerable of our species which will, overall, improve world health.

  46. Let me be clear. Don’t lump all of california into this. As of earlier this week CA had 170,000 cases of covid. The top 7 counties were all in southern california and they make up 112,000 cases. The remaining 60K are spread out all over the rest of southern, central and northern CA. And if you watching the news you would know that almost all of the protest demanding to lift restrictions and “not wearing a mask” is their consititutional right, yeah all those nut bags were from southern california. Up here in northern CA, the largest hospital (one of the biggest in the country), had a total death rate of 7 patients. Hospital usage related to covid hovers around 5% of the beds. So you all can thank the nutty conservatives down in southern CA. Clearly the responsible adults live in the north with silicon valley while all the raging kiddies are in the south.

  47. Breaking news: Governor Inslee just announced that Washington was mistakenly included in that list and will be removed shortly.

  48. Can’t think of any reason to visit those states anyway, but the LARGER QUESTION is will this apply when transiting thru airports??? Did you mention this in your post?

  49. What a bunch of pompous assholes here.

    For all you “Masks are the Holy Grail” followers, run a search for “Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data” at CIDRAP. Educate yourselves and learn something.

    [I’d post the link, but the post when then go into oblivion waiting to be moderated.]

  50. @bob, you’re right on the stats, but LA County, among the worst per capita deaths in the state, is hardly a bastion of conservatism.

    There’s definitely a NoCal/SoCal divide in numbers, but it’s not political.

  51. @1KBrad Get updated. Your source, CIDRAP: “California mandates masks as US COVID-19 cases climb” – June 19, 2020.
    It’s clear, even in your CIDRAP article that puts doubt on the effectiveness of masks – it still states: wear a mask or keep 6ft apart, and wash your hands to limit the spread of COVID-19.

  52. @ 1KBrad — I don’t know that anyone seriously thinks masks are the Holy Grail? Everything I’ve seen from public health experts suggests spread of a virus we still don’t fully understand is best reduced through staying home as much as possible, implementing extensive testing and contact tracing, followed by physical distancing, and avoiding crowds (particularly indoor air-conditioned spaces).

    And in addition to all that, wear a mask in public.

  53. Apparently few remember back in March when Cuomo threatened to sue Rhode Island because they wanted to keep New Yorkers, who were dying like flies, out.


  54. I’m also interested how he’s going to stop airport transit travel. I have a DTW to JFK, then on to DXB and MLE ticket coming up

  55. @SEAguy
    Thank you for your thoughtful analysis of the infection control picture in Washington state.
    I communicate with a number of colleagues in multiple states and your observations are consistent with other information coming from the NW. I am assessing when and where I can return to work and you were most helpful.
    Most of the of the other posts seemed unduly biased due to the bickering, name calling and panic porn politicization, so again, Thanks

  56. @Tiffany:

    It would help if you actually READ the scientific journal, even though it conflicts with your current beliefs. It is clear you did not.

    I quote:

    “In response to the stream of misinformation and misunderstanding about the nature and role of masks and respirators as source control or personal protective equipment (PPE), we critically review the topic to inform ongoing COVID-19 decision-making that relies on science-based data and professional expertise.”

    “Data lacking to recommend broad mask use

    We do not recommend requiring the general public who do not have symptoms of COVID-19-like illness to routinely wear cloth or surgical masks because:

    There is no scientific evidence they are effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission

    Their use may result in those wearing the masks to relax other distancing efforts because they have a sense of protection

    We need to preserve the supply of surgical masks for at-risk healthcare workers.

    Sweeping mask recommendations—as many have proposed—will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing such masks in Hubei province, China, before and during its mass COVID-19 transmission experience earlier this year. Our review of relevant studies indicates that cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as PPE.”

  57. @Patti – There’s a difference. Rhode Island was going to use police and the national guard to stop and prevent NY licensed vehicles from entering Rhode Island.
    What Cuomo, Murphy and Lamont announced today was: NY, NJ and CT require travelers from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine for two weeks.
    This 14 day quarantine is the same restrictions FL enacted to NY residents back in April.
    Please get your facts right.

  58. @1KBrad: As a scientist, I am sorry to in form you that you are committing a common form of misinterpretation of scientific evidence (or, more accurately, of the lack of scientific evidence). Simply because “there is no [scientific] evidence to support” the use of cloth masks does not mean that they are ineffective. While that *could* be the case, there is in fact no positive evidence that they are ineffective. The statement “there is no scientific evidence” often means that too few studies have been done to draw firm conclusions. If you read the article you refer to closely, you’ll see that’s in fact exactly the case here.

    Yet the CDC and public health departments the world over recommend wearing masks, even cloth masks. Why? Because it’s highly plausible that they do have some effect in preventing transmission. Most likely they are not hugely effective; after all, we know why N95 masks are better than cloth masks. But that’s why the primary recommendation is to avoid other people, not wear a mask and mingle the same way you did 6 months ago.

  59. @1KBrad – You failed to include that the FORMAL REQUEST FOR THE RETRACTION of the study in question states: “While we agree that mask-wearing plays an
    important role in slowing the spread of COVID-19, the claims in this study were based on easily
    falsifiable claims and methodological design flaws.”

    In other words, the paper was flawed, not the fact that wearing a mask DOES play a role in slowing the spread of the virus.

  60. @Marv: “Our completely out of control Covid pandemic…” Not completely. It is under control here in NY.

    Whether it remains so after reopening, and after yahoos from other states come here and contaminate us (because you can be sure that someone who refuses to wear a mask is also going to refuse to self-quarantine), is a different question.

  61. @DD: Where is this formal request for retraction and who requested it? It is not on the article page.

    @snic: The WHO and the CDC both said masks are ineffective and did not recommend they be worn. Months later they changed their position, despite the absence of any controlled studies that masks are useful.

    As stated in the conclusion to the article I referenced, “Cloth masks are ineffective as source control and PPE, surgical masks have some role to play in preventing emissions from infected patients, and respirators are the best choice for protecting healthcare and other frontline workers, but not recommended for source control. These recommendations apply to pandemic and non-pandemic situations.”

    It is ridiculous to suggest that masks should [must] be worn in the absence of proof they will do any good at all. We shouldn’t compel people to affirmatively take steps unless there is legitimate evidence it will be effective.

    When masks are recommended or required, there should be scientific proof they will be effective. At present, there is none.

    Masks just make it look like we are doing something.

  62. @1KBrad – Click on the link in the first paragraph of the CIDRAP article: “Controversy on COVID-19 mask study spotlights messiness of science during a pandemic”. The link is “requesting the retraction”.

  63. @1KBrad: It’s actually not true that there are no controlled studies. There is one titled “Community Use Of Face Masks And COVID-19: Evidence From A Natural Experiment Of State Mandates In The US” in Health Affairs. And there are probably similar ones. One can quibble about the quality of the study, but we are in the middle of a pandemic – do we really need iron-clad evidence before we do something so simple (and lacking in side effects or downside) as wearing a mask when we can’t avoid social contact?

    Here’s another way of putting it. Let’s say a new species of fish is discovered, related to the puffer fish. Instead of the nerve toxin tetrodotoxin, it contains a compound that is structurally similar but has never been identified before. There is “no evidence” that eating the fish will kill you. Would you eat it?

  64. @Patti: It is my understanding that the quarantine for travelers from hot spot states does not apply if you are transiting through JFK. You will find JFK to be very quiet, because there are so few international flights. And everyone wears a mask.

    @snic: Thank you for articulating so clearly the mantra that “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. And, for noting that, yes, we have controlled the virus in NYC.

    A cashier at my local food market noted to me the other day: in NYC we wear masks to be polite to our neighbors, because my mask protects you, and your mask protects me.

    Its really simple. And to be blunt, for those who don’t believe that, then please don’t come visit.

  65. This is the same guy that was shrieking and cursing, back in March, when Trump proposed a travel ban on NY? Hypocrisy in spades, although it’s the right thing to do…

  66. Research shows that the choice to engage in criminality, from traffic infractions to serious felonies, is not influenced so much by the severity of punishment as the likelihood of getting caught. We do not need to threaten people with life-destroying punishments for violating quarantine. If these draconian sentences were actually enforced, it would be in a sporadic and ethically dubious manner that could raise due process concerns. Compliance with any quarantine will be high if the public believes quarantine is actively being enforced. I’ve also heard about the enforcement teams mentioned upthread in Toronto, which have created an impression that compliance with quarantine is heavily monitored. These teams could be integrated with a robust contact tracing program of civilians with the power to issue civil infractions of a lesser amount. Start enforcing quarantine for visitors AS WELL as confirmed cases and close contacts with teams visiting at multiple random times over 14 days, issuing $500 fines for noncompliance. Then the quarantine will be adhered to.

  67. @Tiffany
    I am a health care professional that generally flys 4 segments every other weekend for contract fulfillment.
    I would agree with you that while “no one agrees that ‘masks’ are the Holy Grail”, they do have a function as an adjunct barrier when social distancing is not an option and in close or enclosed spaces with less than optimal air exchanges (including home environments with higher risk persons). I am frustrated that mask information has been convoluted, politicized & emotionalized.
    They are an inert barrier that filters according to the density of the material, fit and technique of the wearer. They don’t just filter “one way” (protect you but not others, protect others but not you) which is why donning, doffing, storage and reuse is critical knowledge for effective use and preventing transmission/cross contamination.
    They won’t filter ALL of a direct aerosolized blast but can *potentially* lower the spray of droplets that the virus rides on (don’t forget that microbes can also be absorbed thru the eyes) thus decreasing your total intake by some log number. Masks filtration is not “all or nothing” as some insist – the percentage of filtration Is a % of a specific size particle – actually your choices are ‘none’, ‘some’ or ‘as-high as-I- can-possibly-get’ and that is wholly dependent on material and fit. Mask use is not a social statement, but rather an assessment of risk with application of proven infection control principles & techniques that were evidenced based science LONG BEFORE Covid. I carry a supply – masks, cleaners, Kleenex, cough drops and hand sanitizer.-and use as appropriate when I fly. Although glad to share, I never attempt to mandate others practices as I view this as a personal responsibility. I promote these practices year round (but ESPECIALLY DURING FLU SEASON).
    Wear a mask or don’t but please for the love of sanity STOP FIGHTING ABOUT IT.

    That said, the most effective options for containing droplet spread are distancing, handwashing and volumes of fresh or filtered air.

  68. @DD

    Perhaps you should go back and look at the facts. At the time FL enacted that, NY had a Stay at Home, Shelter in Place order in effect for the Tri-state area. New Yorkers were violating that by fleeing to other states, putting them at risk.

    There are NO orders like that for Florida at this time. Nice try, totally missed the mark

    @Bob Not Bob

    Thank you. My original transit point is from Alabama to DTW, then on. All I want to do is walk from one terminal to another and get to turquoise water.

  69. @Spruce Goods: “1% positive test results for the states that saw an early surge in cases and there are several studies showing once you have had the virus you are immune.” It’s only evidence if you can back it up with a reference, otherwise these are just your words. References please or you have nothing!!

  70. @Patti – It’s not NY, CT, or NJ’s problem that those states that have a significant increase in COVID-19 cases are not imposing a mandatory quarantine. At least the governors in the Tri-state region are all on the same page, taking action, and looking out for their constituents.

  71. @Ernesto The difference is that the virus was in this country much earlier than anyone knew so when florida did their quarantine it was already all over the country. Now new york after taking drastic actions have gotten the situation under control, while Florida screwed around and may turn into the worst epicenter we have seen yet for the entire pandemic. Like seriously Florida had open beaches at one point during spring break in the middle of a pandemic.

  72. @ 1KBrad — Others have better addressed the scientific points already, but this stands out:

    “Their use may result in those wearing the masks to relax other distancing efforts because they have a sense of protection”

    Noble, but also misguided? Americans, broadly, appear to be “done” trying to contain this pandemic. I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here we have had minimal adherence to physical distancing other than where it is mandated AND enforced. Many business owners got different state licenses back in March so they could be considered “essential”, bars opened anyway, people have set up classrooms in their living rooms, etc. It’s a whole thing. The sense of protection comes from the eternal optimism of the USA, not from doing any other one thing.

    So yes, it would be great if everyone was universally on board with doing the more difficult things that would bring this under control, or if we had extensive and aggressive testing and tracing set up. But barring that, folks can at least wear a mask. And honestly, what does it hurt?

    Finally, correlation certainly does not imply causation, but cases *have* been rising in states with more lenient or nonexistent face covering policies: One could reasonably infer that those states are taking a more lackadaisical approach to public health in general, and that mask usage is not the main problem, but again — what does it hurt?

  73. @ TrvlRN — Absolutely. I wish that more people understood personal responsibility as a critical component of functional society. But unfortunately here we are.

  74. Jay Inslee just tweeted:

    “Travelers from WA will NOT have to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to NY, NJ or CT.

    We do not meet the risk criteria and were added in error. Washington has been removed from the list.”

  75. I’m not sure these quarantine stuff is stick-able unless it comes with a severe teeth. Since there are none and state lines are porous, it’s just a suggestion! Lol.

    Americans love their freedoms and are self centered. Unfortunately for Americans, these two traits don’t do so well with containing COVID-19. I don’t see us getting out of it until we find a vaccine for this virus. Until then, buckle down kiddos; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride! This virus has a way of getting rid of those who thinks it’s just a minor flu….

  76. This is going out of hand. Please consider closing commentary area to the first 20 posts, or the first 20 hrs of releasing the article. I’m seeing way too many polarizing comments and it’s ugly (not to mention uncivilized).

  77. @DD: I’m afraid you got it 100% backward:

    “Late last week, a group of researchers posted a letter that they had sent to the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) requesting the retraction of a study published the week before that purportedly showed mask use was the most effective intervention in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in New York City.”

    I realize we now live in a nanny world, but to tell everyone they have to wear a mask WHEN THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF IT WILL STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID is just too much.

    Wearing a mask is a pain in the ass. I’d do it if it would do some good, but I am not going to accept, “Gee, it MIGHT do some good so why not.” That’s not good enough.

    @snic: the study you reference simply says it “might” help:

    “the World Health Organization strongly recommend that symptomatic individuals wear them. Since mask wearing by infected individuals can reduce transmission risk, and because of the high proportion of asymptomatic infected individuals and transmissions, there appears to be a strong case for the effectiveness of widespread use of face masks in reducing the spread of COVID-19. However, there is no direct evidence thus far on the magnitude of such effects, especially at a population level.”

    That’s not science. It’s nonsense, and people are buying into it.

    There is no scientific evidence that wearing masks slows or stops the spread of COVID.

    People are engaging in activities thinking masks help. They don’t.

    You want protection? Stay home or wear a face shield. Masks aren’t going to help. They are just a feel good measure.

    Sort of like air vents on airplanes (blowing cabin temperature air). It’s all in someone’s head.

  78. In another posting many objected the so-called “EU-travel ban”, based on contagion numbers. Perhaps the EU should also consider a similar move, i.e. restrictions only to those from high contagion US states.

  79. @1KBrad: You are 100% convinced you’re right despite one argument after the other that demolishes your position. I’ve already explained to you that you are simply wrong when you say science does not support wearing masks. You are even wrong when you say the evidence is only that masks “might” do some good. Masks do reduce the amount of aerosolized liquid that emanates from your mouth when you talk, breathe or cough. That is incontrovertible fact. Simple logic then gets you to the conclusion that masks reduce virus transmission because we know that the virus is transmitted via those aerosolized particles. At this point we don’t know how much that reduction is, but so far at least one study (plus the correlational evidence pointed to by Tiffany) indicates that it is meaningful.

    The standard for evidence to support action in the middle of an emergency is far lower than it is under normal circumstances. Given that there is, in fact, evidence (counter to your repeated false claims that there is none), the *minor inconvenience* of wearing a mask when you can’t social distance is the least that everyone can do.

    Finally, you are also wrong when you say that air vents blowing cabin-temperature air produce a cooling effect that is “all in your head.” I find myself wondering why I am bothering to argue with someone who doesn’t understand how perspiration works (hint: look up “evaporative cooling”).

  80. @ MARV – no need for me to comment , I just agree with all you say and I like your choice of vocabulary

  81. @Spruced Goods

    “All those saying show evidence – 1% positive test results for the states that saw an early surge in cases and there are several studies showing once you have had the virus you are immune.”

    Huh? How does this demonstrate that “most people” in these states are now immune??

    If 1% tested positive and are now immune, that means that 99% did not test positive and are not immune.

  82. As I have been pointing out over and over, the basis for recommending (and requiring) people to wear masks is not hysteria. It’s science, deductive logic, and common sense. In my opinion, the absolute refusal to recognize these arguments as valid, despite possessing no arguments at all to counter them, approaches something like hysteria. Or at least extreme irrationality.

  83. For all those folks saying that FL handles this pandemic in a good way and NY didn’t.

    I want to ask a few questions.

    1) Why is there only a couple of new cases in NY and the number of cases in FL rises by every passing day?

    2) Why isn’t FL imposing now a national lockdown if the numbers now are higher than it was during the lockdown?

    The only way I can see an answer is that those crazy governors in FL, TX, etc. are going in the same way then the crazy president of the US who says “Stop the testing and there won’t be new cases” but if they say this why do they test just:


    Is this what happened to the US government?

    Thank god I don’t live in the US…..

    Why did they impose a lockdown in the first place? To make so many people lose jobs? If it was to save lives what’s now????

    America wake up…

    I’m neither a republican nor a democrat, I’m someone that can take from both sides, but here the republicans (let’s say Trump) made the mistake….

    I’m not saying what they should do, but do something…..

    If the FL governor imposed a 14 quarantine on NY when the cases there was high and NY did things to stop the spread of the virus (maybe not everything was the right thing to do), why should he not impose the 14 day quarantine in the opposite direction when they don’t do anything???

  84. @snic: I provided you the search criteria for the researched and cross-referenced scientific article that was unable to demonstrate any protection that masks offer when worn by those who are asymptomatic with COVID-19. I would link to the article but can’t do so on this board, but its easy enough to find.

    I quoted the relevant portions of the article. No protection from mask wearing was found.

    As they said, if masks actually helped, Wuhan wouldn’t have had an outbreak since mask wearing was widespread there even before the outbreak occurred.

    In response, the ONLY reference you provided is one that couldn’t find any protection from wearing masks, either to the wearer or other parties, and could only opine that wearing a mask “might” help. But that conclusion was not based on any scientific evidence.

    I gave you science and you responded with innuendo. Is that all you have?

    @Tiffany: There is no correlation between mask use and COVID rates. California had a severe lock down and requires masks in most places. They are nevertheless facing a huge infection rate.

  85. There is something very unsettling about blanket policies such as these as well as the mass hysteria and mob mentality that drives them. Consider for a moment our Final Jeopardy answer:

    Treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.

    Alex, What is discrimination?

    Two individuals enter New York, one from Florida, one from Illinois. Nether is carrying a contagion of any kind, yet one is punished unnecessarily by quarantine while the other is allowed to roam carelessly. Both, of course, are still required to wear a mask…to prevent their spreading a contagion that neither of them have. Where is the science behind this?

  86. I do not like masks but i do realize that if people coughed or sneezed without them, it would be not as nice as if they did the same with them…..
    However what is concerning is the number of Americans who are refusing any debate on whether masks help, and (as in a popular travel forum) banned anyone from doubting their effectiveness. What these people ignore is that, countries like Canada, Spain, Germany, Italy have not required universal mask usage, except in public transport.
    And as someone pointed out, if they were of so effective, how did China get hit badly?
    What we have now is a society of many midwits who justify any and every policy under the cringeworthy phrase “Follow the science”.
    Do masks help? In certain situation, yes
    But what pro-maskers say is that masks can eliminate the virus, which is absolutely false

  87. @1kBrad: Yes, you pointed to one article that asserts that there is “no evidence” that masks help. I pointed to another that said there is such evidence (counter to what you said it says). And a recent review of 172 observational studies in The Lancet concludes that masks do help. The Washington Post cites that study in a report saying that there is a scientific consensus that masks reduce virus transmission. So I don’t know what to tell you other than you are simply wrong.

    As I’ve also said over and over, the evidence is not watertight in the sense that no gold-standard studies have been conducted (double blind randomized control). As I keep saying (apparently to deaf ears), that doesn’t matter when logical deduction leads you straight from “masks prevent aerosol transmission into the air” to “masks prevent virus transmission” (or at least reduce it). And when 172 studies provide observational evidence to support this deduction.

    Finally, you keep citing widespread mask wearing in Wuhan as evidence that masks don’t work. That is completely ridiculous. As I have *also* said, the recommendation is NOT to wear masks and mingle like it’s 2019. That is *precisely* what the good people of Wuhan were doing – and, of course, it’s not even the case that all of them were wearing masks. The recommendation is to STAY AWAY FROM OTHERS, and wear masks only when you can’t avoid others (like when grocery shopping). It’s a game of probabilities: we want to reduce the likelihood of virus transmission. The likelihood is high in a place where people congregate in massive crowds on a daily basis, even if some or even most of them wear masks. The fact that the virus spread under these conditions is NOT evidence that the current recommendations don’t work.

    But – please feel free to come back here and simply insist that you are right despite a mountain of reasons why you are wrong, and that I and the CDC and the WHO and public health departments from Kalamazoo to Lahore and thousands of scientists and thousands of physicians are just telling you to wear masks because we are hysterical. My guess is that anyone who is still following this argument will find that stance absurd.

    (The title of the Lancet article: Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis; publication date June 27.)

    (Title of the Washington Post article: Spate of new research supports wearing masks to control coronavirus spread, June 13)

  88. @Shah: “what pro-maskers say is that masks can eliminate the virus”

    I don’t know anyone who says that. You can’t wear a mask and pretend it’s full PPE (N95 mask, gloves, face shield, gown). There’s a REASON why health care providers wear all that when treating COVID patients. They don’t just wear the cloth mask Grandma made for them.

    That doesn’t mean Grandma’s cloth mask is useless. It reduces transmission, especially from the wearer to others, even though it does not eliminate the possibility of transmission. Which is why staying away from others is still the best way to minimize spread of the coronavirus.

  89. @snic: Do you even read what you cite to?

    “Although direct evidence is limited, the optimum use of face masks, in particular N95 or similar respirators in health-care settings and 12–16-layer cotton or surgical masks in the community.”

    Evidence is limited and even then pertains to N95 or 12-16 layer cotton or surgical masks, which virtually no one in the community is wearing anyway.

    “action is needed at all levels to address the paucity of better evidence”

    Translation: they don’t know.

    As to Wuhan, masks are supposedly for when social distancing is not possible. So you are admitting they didn’t work in that context in Wuhan?

    Look, the government is telling everyone that masks work and they have to be worn. The empirical evidence simply does not support that conclusion.

    The study I referenced indicates that, even to the extent that masks may slow droplets, it does not affect the transmission rates of COVID-19.

    Search for “Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data” at CIDRAP:

    “In response to the stream of misinformation and misunderstanding about the nature and role of masks and respirators as source control or personal protective equipment (PPE), we critically review the topic to inform ongoing COVID-19 decision-making that relies on science-based data and professional expertise.”

    “Data lacking to recommend broad mask use.”

    “We do not recommend requiring the general public who do not have symptoms of COVID-19-like illness to routinely wear cloth or surgical masks because:”

    “There is no scientific evidence they are effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”

    “Their use may result in those wearing the masks to relax other distancing efforts because they have a sense of protection.”

    “Sweeping mask recommendations—as many have proposed—will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing such masks in Hubei province, China, before and during its mass COVID-19 transmission experience earlier this year. Our review of relevant studies indicates that cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as PPE.”

  90. You are completely ignoring my arguments about deductive logic. The evidence clearly indicates that wearing N95 or surgical masks reduces transmission. Does that mean we know absolutely nothing about other kinds of masks, and therefore we shouldn’t bother wearing them? Of course not. We know that other masks are not as effective as medical-grade masks, but that doesn’t mean they are completely useless. They do exactly the same thing as these other masks, just not as efficiently. It is perfectly reasonable to conclude that widespread mask wearing will reduce transmission – especially from the mask wearer to others. That, in fact, is what healthcare and public health establishments all over the world have concluded.

    As for why widespread mask wearing didn’t work early on in Wuhan: you are ignoring (a) that mask wearing was far from universal (compared with what it is now in, for instance, NY – everywhere I go, people are wearing masks; non-compliance is relatively low); and (b) that a single counterexample does not invalidate a conclusion based on probabilities. Specifically, it is certainly not the case that an outbreak can’t happen even if everyone wears N95 masks but crowds together for prolonged periods. But the chances are very likely to be reduced if everyone wears masks. The fact that an outbreak happened when *some* people wore masks (certainly not N95) in crowded conditions doesn’t mean that the probability of an outbreak is necessarily equivalent in the “everyone masked” vs “no one masked” condition.

    Finally, there’s no need to keep reposting quotes from the one study that supports your conclusions. I get it – there is no clear direct evidence that mask wearing works. But you have also failed to address the other point I keep making, which is that in a public health emergency, when indirect evidence is all we have, we would be foolish to refuse to make decisions on indirect evidence.

  91. Rich of cuomo who is gleefully sitting on a pile of 30,000 bodies and through incompetence let it ravage nursing homes.

    At this point, it’s clear that for those under 60, that the virus risk is small. Either get on with life (as most people are) or stay in your hermit for the next 2+ years (your choice ofc)

  92. Just reading through the previous comments on this post, I find it amusing that people are still shaming over beaches. I suppose this is the media’s fault for harping on this point constantly, but really beaches are one of the safest places to be. It’s been shown that the virus transmits FAR less easily outdoors, and beaches have the added benefit of generally having a steady breeze which disperses the virus. Add to that the fact that people are often spaced out at least a few feet (ignore photos taken with telephoto lenses that distort the distance between people), and beaches are probably one of the safest places to go outside your home.

    That being said, common facilities at beaches such as bathrooms may be a risk, so people should still take proper precautions (masks, hand washing, etc.).

  93. @Bob beaches are not the issue, it was the masses flocking to them that was the issue. A friend of mine who lives near Jacksonville, FL said it was the most crowded he’d ever seen it when they first reopened. There may have been some distorted photos, but there was certainly truth there. Good luck finding space.

    This list and the recent spikes are no surprise. The middle and west of the country, where the numbers were very low to begin with, had very relaxed standards about PPE etc. Hard to blame them when they saw the “totals”, but still unnerving. I had to be in Wyoming and South Dakota for work in June, and in both states I didn’t see any people wearing masks and everything was open. I think now they’ll start taking it seriously.

  94. Some countries and there people ned to lear the HARD way or may start with BASIC educating there people, so EVERYBODY would understand that it’s not a crisis, flooding or local thing, it’s a pandemic and as long as the education and understanding about it is lie the one from a 3rd world country, NOTHING will change to the better anytime soon!
    At least NY, NJ, CT saw that and changed there way of doing things. HI thankfully did things VERY different from the beginning on.
    Europe is going on vacation again and travels at least for this summer again as they took care about things way better.
    China, ok, i guess talking of “freedom” there woudl be the wrong thing to do, so as of right now, Europe is way advanced, while Australia is starting to close state travel again.
    US, nowhere near of any improvement, but whos surprised on that, if over 72k/daily think they NEED to get on a tight packed plane and do as if nothing ever happened?
    3rd world like!
    Israel, at first shut down right away and ended flights to Europe, but US was never an issue to them, over months now, they got the virus in the country again and it couldn’t be coming from Europe as there was no flights from there, but i guess we all know the answer!?
    Look at Israel now, heavy new waves with a lot of more infections then ever before.
    Some need to learn the hard way, others never learn (willing or not able to, whatever the reason is).

  95. We need aggressive enforcement mechanisms. Either tracking people by their smartphones or something like an ankle chip. People are so stupid you can’t rely on them to do the right thing. I don’t think NY has nearly enough of a robust enforcement mechanism. You would need to hugely expand an agency to track every person that flys in or drives in. If they aautomatically got PNR data from the airlines, made every person fill out a form online kind of like an ESTA visa, and then to leave the airport you had to scan a code on your phone that matched the PNR with your ESTA visa type declaration that would be a good start!

  96. @Boston Track people? Are you serious? I get the premise of what you’re saying, people are dumb. But we are also adults. We aren’t animals or children. The gov’t would love to insert a chip in you. They’ll use it for more than just tracking some virus. The US isn’t communist, you need to give people some freedom and put proper protocols in place. Everyone isn’t going to follow them, that needs to be understood. But tracking and tracing isn’t the answer.

  97. Cases in MN are very low and 90% in nursing homes so there is no reason to ban Minnesotans. Not that I think anyone from MN wants to go to NY anyway.

  98. @Alonzo Taiwan and South Korea are also not communist, and they track arrivees rigorously and/or quarantine them in government facilities. It’s just the right thing to do for the pandemic.

  99. Actually, I think this is great. My state has now been added to the list, which means that I have zero chance of being sent to NY for any reason. Which is awesome because that place is a dangerous and dirty hole run by a slimebag. It is worthy of note; however, that NY does this 3 months after thousands of infected New Yorkers snuck into Florida, bringing the disease with them. And NY remains the undisputed Covid champ by any measure (deaths, hospitalizations, total cases).

  100. One can sit here and blame New Yorkers all they want for “bringing the virus” to current hotspots, or sh*t on Cuomo for implementing a quarantine. Doesn’t change the fact that Cuomo wasn’t in charge of these cities’ responses, and that NYC has the outbreak under relative control. Places like Miami and Houston can learn a thing or two about how to control a pandemic from the most dense and populous city in the US, because they’re clearly doing a bang-up job.

  101. Christ… so sad to watch people take this stuff personally. It’s exactly this “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME” BS that’s preventing us from doing the right thing and containing this virus.

    The science is very clear: masks protect people. There are already hundreds of youtube videos which demonstrate the aerosol dynamics of wearing a mask vs. not wearing a mask. Never mind the curves of states that seem to have an issue with PPE vs those that don’t.

    Oh, and if you want to talk about a ‘dangerous and dirty hole run by a slimebag’… Mexico is closing their border to parts of AZ and TX. I’ll repeat that: Mexico is closing their border to US. Maybe we won’t need the wall after all, huh?

  102. So Cuomo lost his ever-loving mind when Rhode Island attempted to impose a quarantine on New Yorkers in April–said it was unconstitutional, and he would sue them if they tried to impose it. Hypocrisy in politics truly knows no bounds.

  103. And I live in one of the first major metros to get hit (Seattle). At least we had an excuse for the original spike … nobody really knew what was going on until it was too late and the virus was set to explode.

    TX, FL, GA… all these states had a front row seat watching this go down in Seattle, NYC, etc. They had ample warning, ample time to prepare and avoid the same outcome. But instead they bit down hard on freedumb and here we are… careening towards a second shutdown.

    And socal is a problem but at least the governor’s taking the right action. Betting anything you’ll see them get their curve under control well before the other hotspots.

  104. Yes, outdoors is safer. Unless, of course, you’re packed in cheek by jowl and nobody’s wearing PPE… like we saw during spring break. And there’s the matter of everybody jumping into a large unchlorinated body of water right next to each other. Breathe in that glorious sea mist, everyone!

    The GOP convention is going to be superfun for this liberal to watch. Jacksonville, middle of summer, maybe outdoors? Trump is certainly reaping what he sowed.

  105. When the South decided to ignore science, this is what happens… Covid 19 everywhere! Who would have thought….! Now we will have to wait out a month for this wave to peak. One good thing about this huge wave is that now South is wearing masks too. I guess one has to see sickness around one to realize the severity.

    As for Como’s dumb idea, not gonna happen. States are too porous. When America decides to act as one and not individuals, that’s when this virus can be beaten. As long as Americans only cares about me me me, this virus will flourish.

  106. @Jan

    NY only did a decent job compared to the rest of the dysfunctional country, but internationally even NY is pretty bad.

    NY still has double the daily new cases of the entire country of Canada, while having about a third of the population, so even if exemption is determined state by state, I’m not sure any state in the US deserves to be let in.

  107. @David,

    “NY only did a decent job compared to the rest of the dysfunctional country, but internationally even NY is pretty bad.”


    NY is 2nd highest in per capita deaths (just behind NJ).

    They did an objectively *terrible* job.

    They’re doing much better *now*, but all those states with soaring cases now have a LOOONG way to go to match the NY carnage.

  108. @spruce goods: tedious, low-effort troll.

    Enforcement is supposed to happen at the airport with a $2k fine for failing to comply. Cars may be pulled over on roads (not sure how realistic this bit is).

  109. @1KBrad Seriously?? You reference an article from April 1st?? How about the numerous studies since then that support the use of masks in conjunction with social distancing? Seems like YOU are the one who needs to get educated. They learn more the more they study this new virus. Its science.

  110. 90% of the comments here are mud-slinging personal jibes, politics, off-topic remarks, and troll-like comments.

    Overall, I do enjoy this blog a lot and very seldom comment. But now I will.

    Ben, deliberately or not, is creating discord with certain of his posts that are only very tenuously about travel.

    My comment is this; “goodbye.”

  111. “The constant updates of states sure makes it impossible to plan future travel there, since you don’t know if you’ll be subjected to a 14-day quarantine or not.” To get on the list you need to have a pretty severe COVID problem in the state. If you live somewhere where your state is even approaching the point where it would be on the list then maybe that is a sign that the person shouldn’t be planning travel?? People in New York don’t want tourists coming in from high COVID states. We don’t need to be forced back into shutdown because people from states where this was not taken seriously want to go on vacation here. The travel restriction is designed to discourage people who are not wanted from coming here, but they need to allow people from here a way to return.

  112. @Reaper

    My point was that even if you ignore how terribly NY did in the beginning and only look at their new cases right now, they would still be pretty bad compared to other countries, so the commenters who make it seem like NY is doing fine right now and deserves exemption is misguided at best.

  113. Ok I am from Texas (arghhh) and I have a trip to NYC for 3 days at the end of August to renew my passport at the Malaysian Embassy. I really hope Texas gets off this list, otherwise I guess I would have to cancel. Just curious, how are they planning to enforce this?

  114. @Stuart….. I totally agree with your comments. Although I am a US citizen , I have residence in the EU and and work permit in KL, however I am ” stuck here in the US and God knows how long before we cease to be a ” traveling pariah” for most countries around the world ( quarantine or no quarantine). The frustration at seeing day in and day out my fellow citizens in various states just not taking this pandemic seriously ,is demoralizing. I get the inbred American “my constitutional freedoms “mentality, like I have a right to bear arms , my freedom not to wear a mask, etc etc, but at this rate we will be an ostracized by the rest of the world as being a pandemic breeding country for decades to come. Sad.

  115. So the epicenter of the US infection, the spreaders of the virus to the west and south and the leaders of the body count doesn’t want me there. . .so be it. I was born in NY but will never step foot back in that state. We sent hundreds of doctors and nurses, but they have sent few back our way. They locked down too late, didn’t take care of the elderly and have trashed their economy. NY’s lack of planning made it our emergency. . this time.

    While we weren’t perfect (bars should have never opened), AZ predicted the spike for mid June to late July, we had an extra 1500 beds and ventilators ready and while a mask issue should have been put in place, we spiked, we are dropping now as expected. We slowed it at the onset but knew a spike was unavoidable

    Contrary to the nation media, yes we had a few idiots who don’t get it but so does NY (they just don’t show them). Note: Can’t wait for Trump to be gone and a unified effort to fight the virus and rebuild the economy starts. Time to unite and work together not “block” people.

  116. @sunviking82, good riddance, we don’t want you here anyway. I think its way worse to look at New York’s mistakes and not learn from them while also spreading willful ignorance and misinformation. Your states had plenty of time to prepare, make mask mandates etc, and you didnt. Your governors and elected officials helped spread misinformation about masks and now you’re reaping the benefits. New York may had made mistakes, but you had plenty of time to prepare and are far worse off. Stay the hell away from us.

  117. @sunviking82 Spreaders to the west? Huh? It started in the west. The cases that came from china were in the west. The cases in the east came from europe because nobody on the federal level stopped people coming from europe until it was too late. SInce there was not adequate testing early on (again thanks to the federal government) the virus had spread across the country undetected. oh and NYC had 67 million tourists last year, so chances are pretty good that the people who brought the virus into your area were your family, neighbors and friends. Trying to blame new york for that is a joke. Of course the bigger joke is the states the reopened too early or didnt close at all and lot the virus spread. Like seriously the case numbers are down in NYC and have been for awhile. Yet they continued to climb in certain states (like arizona)? Maybe the people in THOSE states should have acted more responsibly. Trying to blame new york for cases they had months ago is pathetic. We saw how certain states neglected and even continue to neglect this crisis. Wouldn’t cases in AZ be much more likely to come from a place like california?? In any event don’t worry NY doesn’t want you here.

  118. @Shah, you wrote: “ What these people ignore is that, countries like Canada, Spain, Germany, Italy have not required universal mask usage, except in public transport.”

    I am not sure where you get this information but I can tell you it isn’t accurate for Spain. I live outside Barcelona and we are required to wear masks everywhere now except during “sport” meaning physical exercise or while eating.

    The government is currently tightening down again due to some outbreaks recently caused by people who couldn’t be bothered following the guidelines.

  119. This is pretty repugnant.
    With college students from all over the world coming to New York, it’s interesting that they’re not subject to quarantine.
    Don’t be fooled by Herr Cuomo, despite his pronouncements that he wouldn’t put money before lives; he’s done exactly that.
    At least his “rule” won’t last forever and I am sure his constituents will vote him out.

  120. Wow. It would be so beneficial for all here (generally speaking) to demonstrate maturity and factual knowledge.
    Why not offer up facts and common sense.
    We can only change things going forward. There’s no time left to complain, scapegoat and the like.
    The USA is doing very, very badly with Covid-19. This hurts us deeply in so many ways.
    Masks help against spreading germs.
    Quarantine in necessary. Etc.
    People must understand this is an enormous, massive health and economic issue round the world.
    It is an absolute pity for anyone to not help and do what it takes – even if it isn’t to their liking.
    There’s a much bigger picture here.

  121. @Steph. I go to college in upstate NY and we are REQUIRED by New York State to quarantine all incoming students from travel advisory states. This means an enormous effort to secure hotel rooms and food for those students (who’s numbers are in the thousands) for 14 days. No one is exempt from this rule and it protects the community. Cuomo is taking the right steps to ensure that New York avoids another outbreak. I’m from a state recently added to the quarantine list and I have no problem with this rule as it is there to protect people and reduce the spread of COVID.

  122. I live in NYC and back in June, I wholeheartedly agree with what the governors are doing. Nowadays though, it seems more like a joke given how they’ve barely enforced it. In addition, there are so many loopholes and exceptions (i.e. Governor Cuomo and his entourage physically went to GA but after coming back to NYC did not have to go through any quarantine.)

  123. I’m taking a vacation to Connecticut tribal resort casino tomorrow from WA. Do officers meet your planes? How does this work?

  124. Does sovereign states (Native American reservation lands) abiding by state procedures re: traveller’s quarantine ?

  125. People may not like NY, but the results speak for themselves. Italy at one time was the world’s epicenter of the virus, but they implemented strict lock down measures and got it under control after great sacrifice by citizens. Then, NYC and the surrounding metro became the epicenter. NY followed what Italy did and implemented strict lock down measures (at least by american standards) and great sacrifice by its residents (at least by american standards) and got the virus under control. Just science and math.

  126. As a resident of NY, I’d like to reinforce the comments above asking people who aren’t from here to stay away. We New Yorkers did our part by enduring the lockdown, and at great economic (and psychological) expense, we got the virus under control. It is a shame there was inadequate national leadership to do the same nationwide. But there’s nothing we can do about that until November. In the meantime, we don’t want cases here to rise. Get your house in order, then you’ll be welcome to visit ours.

    I did my part personally by cancelling a long-planned vacation to a state on the quarantine list as soon as it was listed. We could have muddled through the 14 days of quarantine we’d have to endure after our visit, but we decided to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  127. NY/NJ/CT need to get off their high horses a bit here. Not too long ago they were at the epicenter of the outbreak, since they couldn’t contain it there, the rest of the country got hit hard. The tri-state area should have been locked down from the rest of the country for a few months when New Rochelle became the leading edge of the pandemic, then the US wouldn’t have been in the mess. Sad that the states now suffering from a large uptick in infections didn’t impose quarantine restrictions for people coming from NJ/NJ/CT

  128. @snic. NY didn’t have their house in order and allowed the virus to spread across the whole country, and now the rest of the country is suffering.

  129. Love reading the comments from New Yorkers taking a victory lap. 33,000 deaths is nothing to brag about, and is by far the worst result in any state (the next worst state, NJ, has less than half that number). The virus was terribly managed by Cuomo in NY. And forcing active COVID patients into nursing homes? The man literally has blood on his hands. Just science and math.

  130. This is silly, why don’t they just make it a blanket quarantine requirement for the entire US?

  131. Massachusetts has a similar 14-day quarantine requirement starting August 1st for arrivals from anywhere except a published list of “safe” locations. As of now, that list is pretty short – New England, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii. Everyone else has to fill out a travel form with contact info and quarantine address. $500/day fine for not submitting the form or breaking the quarantine.

    One major difference – you are exempt if you have a negative test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. You can also leave your quarantine location to take a test in MA, and end quarantine early if results are negative.

    And, of course, usual exemptions for military, critical workers, and patients coming to MA for medical care. Incoming students are not exempt.

    I have no idea how they actually plan to enforce these rules – Boston area colleges have about 200,000 students. Some of them are local, and some will be online-only. That still leaves tens of thousands of people not very likely to spend 14 days in their dorm rooms.

  132. Ryan says:
    June 24, 2020 at 12:28 pm
    Governor Abbott could learn a thing or three from Governor Cuomo.

    -Disgraced Texan

    Learn a thing from cuomo? Are you serious? Texas has 50% more people than NY state, yet NY has 6 times as many deaths. No matter how much tv time cuomo gets he can in no way be held out as a having done a good job. Get real.

  133. The federal government needs to sue states and cities imposing these capricious and unenforced quarantines. They can request travelers quarantine, but it’s unconstitutional to require quarantines. Airlines should also sue. Enough is enough.

  134. A lot of you are thinking short-term, but the virus has a delayed effect, and it’s why our public health officials are making decisions that might seem harsh now. In reality, they’re not.

    Example: NY’s adjusted death rate may be higher than other states, but as the weeks progress, other hot spot states will catch up. The fact is, NY’s current trends are more telling; their curve has leveled, and they’ve effectively stymied their outbreak. But the thousands of new cases that have popped up in FL/TX/CA/etc these past few weeks will translate to deaths once these infections progress to critical cases and hospitals start filling up. That process takes weeks. So what we’re seeing now in hospitals and mortality is a result of July 4th weekend and prior. Another 3-4 weeks and today’s hot spots could have their health systems overwhelmed. Certainly mortality rates will catch up to NY’s, but hopefully as therapeutic treatments catch up, mortality will decrease.

    This is another reason why flattening the curve is important – it buys us time to reveal proven treatments like remdesivir and anticoagulants. No, Hydroxychloroquine has not yet been proven to to be effective in any highly controlled studies. But time will tell.

    Even being infected one day and getting tested the following day won’t guarantee a positive result because detectable viral loads can take days to build up. (Last professional recommendation I saw was get tested 3-4 days after exposure) So despite a negative test result, it’s no guarantee we aren’t actually going on to infect others in the coming days. It’s why professional athletes are being tested multiple times per week. And it’s a large reason why masks, social distancing, and sanitizing need to be followed strictly for some time.

    The real way to stop this thing is to assume you might be a carrier and act accordingly. Stay safe everyone

  135. Wow! LOTs of comments – guess people who cant travel have more time to comment. More surprising – LOTs of tea party type trumptards who cannot grasp the concept of doing something as trivial as wearing a mask not for their own safety but that of others. Yes others matter too. So we have dozens of states, some of whom quarantined people coming from the original hot spots of NY, CT, NJ and MI, now complaining because they WOULD not learn the lessons already learned the hard way a few months ago – in the cause of “freedom”. Freedom to do what ? Spread disease ? pollute ? own slaves ?

  136. If people are curious how inter country borders happen, see Australia. There have been state border closures and required quarantine. The borders are manned by police and require you to declare where you’ve been. If you’re caught lying then you suffer severe penalties.

    If it’s possible here then it’s possible in America too

  137. @East2West: You claim “Sad that the states now suffering from a large uptick in infections didn’t impose quarantine restrictions for people coming from NJ/NJ/CT:, however that is not true. FL imposed quarantine to NY/NJ/CT on March 23, which has been extended indefinitely, it is still on. As someone with two homes, one in CT and one in FL, I am affected by both quarantines when I travel between my two homes. While I don’t like any of the two quarantines, the current quarantine in FL is even less justifiable than the one in CT given the number of positive cases in FL.

  138. “NY didn’t have their house in order and allowed the virus to spread across the whole country, and now the rest of the country is suffering.” Only a clown would write this. The federal government was sleeping on the job. They kept saying its coming from Asia its coming from Asia. In reality New York got it from Europe because the federal government let people come in from Europe for weeks unchecked. Then the federal government screwed up the testing so there was no way to test in NY. Oh and by the way it was already all over the country before we knew what was going on, because again there was no testing available. The real question is why did those other states that are now being hit hard open up prematurely? I mean they had the testing by that point. They saw what this virus could do. The experts were telling them not to open. Yet the morons reopened in places like Florida, Texas, etc etc and all of a sudden their numbers skyrocket. So seriously you sound like a total tool trying to blame this on NY when other states kept bars open and reopened prematurely.

  139. “If it’s possible here then it’s possible in America too” no that’s not how the law works. The US has a constitution that specifically limits stuff like that. You can’t just say well if they do it in my country then they can do it in the US. That is not remotely accurate, because its completely separate governmental systems.

  140. It’s good to know that the virus respects “state lines”. I’m sure this is exactly what the Continental Congress was anticipating when they mapped out all 50 states.

  141. complete political theatre. Americans won’t even use masks, and socially distant. They will not self isolate. These are state borders, without control checkpoints. Unlike international borders, where your arrival is recorded, health questionnaire completed, and your personal information, including quarantine location noted, this is all for show.

    Totally unenforceable and Americans will not comply

  142. Unfortunately I live in Kelowna BC which is the ‘vacation capital’ of BC.

    Since Canada Day we have spiked enormously in our Covid cases with the young holiday makers from Alberta and Vancouver heading to the hot spot night clubs.

    I wish there was a way to prevent tourism.

    Everyone – stay home until your community has Covid under control. That’s the only way to beat this thing, if we ever can.

  143. I’ll stay away from politics and simply post my recent experience:

    My Manhattan-based family traveled to the Bay Area for my brother’s wedding. Upon my return on 7/28 into JFK, we were required to fill out a health form (1 per family, just like a customs form). There were a half-dozen police officers watching the disembarking passengers (maybe for show, don’t know).

    My sister and her NJ-based family returned to EWR on the 27th and had no similar forms or police.

    My parents fly back to their Western NY home on Monday. I’m curious to see what they encounter…

  144. These new checkpoints are primarily for people coming in to NY to visit either Long Island/Hamptons or the Jersey Shore. I doubt we’ll see too much enforcement unless there’s a clear case of someone breaking the rules that happens to get stopped.

    All I see coming out of this is even more traffic at the bridges and tunnels.

  145. Then I’ll just fly into Philly and drive into the NJ suburbs. No one wants to have anything to do with NYC anyways. There is a mass exodus.

  146. Sharing my travel experience… I traveled from Florida to New York this past weekend to visit for a family emergency (and I quarantined my entire stay). I filled out the online traveler form after hearing about the $2,000 fine for failure not to fill it out. Just a few minutes after submitting the form, I received a call from someone at the NY State Department of Health confirming my arrival info and length of stay and reminding me to quarantine. I also received a daily text asking me if I had COVID Symptoms, which I replied “No” on a daily basis. You also have the option to opt out of the texts.

    There were no cops at the arrival gate asking for my traveler form and other than a daily text, there was no further follow up. Unfortunately, I do not see how the state could enforce the quarantine mandate and quite frankly, If I wanted to, I could have easily gone to see the sights as a tourist. This is very much an honor system.

  147. Checkpoints? Maybe they can issue some sort of button people who are not from the area can wear or some sort of cloth patch to be worn on their jacket. Something star-shaped perhaps.

  148. learn from CUOMO???Are u serious???? esp what he did to nursing homes!!!
    – dot

    No one wants to have anything to do with NYC anyways. There is a mass exodus.
    – D3kingg

    People like you both only know about New York City — what happened here during COVID, or what goes on here in general — based on what someone on Fox News has told you. You probably think every subway car has three homeless people that have defecated everywhere, and the population is made up entirely of welfare queens, hipster artists, and Wall Street traders. If you have no interest in visiting, that’s fine, no place has to be all-things-to-all-people. But you really shouldn’t have such a strong opinion about somewhere you’ve never been, that’s just irrational.

  149. The difference between New York and Italy is that New Yorkers were allowed to seed the virus all over the country — traveling to “quarantine” in Miami and Los Angeles — while Italians were forced to remain in their own towns and cities. Selfish Milanese couldn’t abandon Milan to “quarantine” in Sicily or on the Amalfi Coast. For this reason, Italy’s South was saved, while the entire United States was seeded by New Yorkers, as the New York Times reported on May 7th.

  150. @jo momma honor system until you are caught. There are a number of ways someone could end up being caught violating quarantine. Likely to be caught? Probably not, but God help the infected people who gets caught violating quarantine. They will likely want to make an example of those people.

  151. I’ll stay away from my recent experience and simply post on politics:

    Cuomo acts so righteous but he has blood on his hands. The man should be tried for genocide.

  152. @Joe Chivas Don’t forget that mouthy Cuomo was the one threatening to sue other states (Rhode Island) who tried to quarantine New Yorkers coming into their state. That plus putting 5,000 Covid-infected patients into nursing homes. It’s amazing that the guy seems to have come out smelling like a rose.

  153. @Joe Chivas and @AW – Yes, Cuomo made mistakes, but far far fewer than the governors of the Sun Belt states who emulate Dear Leader and parrot his untruths and denial of the raging virus at the cost of lives and the local and national economy.

    I was not and am not a fan of Cuomo, but he did come around, listened to scientists in the US and at Imperial College London, and set up metrics for reopening the state by regions. New Yorkers paid attention, followed directions, and region by region beat the virus down to a 1% positivity rate.

    At some point (soon we in New York hope) the governors of all states will stop listening the tweeting fool, and require their citizens to follow the CDC’s recommendations: keep your distance, avoid crowds, and wear a mask. And then, and only then, will New York welcome the residents of the 30 or so states that are still spreading the virus around the country.

  154. NY is a train wreck. On one hand they are telling those in other states to stay away, and on the other they are begging residents with higher incomes to come home and pay taxes.

    One benefit of COVID is I have made my new state my permanent residence. NY can get Jan and Feb’s tax, but thats it!

  155. Tit for Tat: Early on, NYC accounted for 40% of total cases nationwide, and there were checkpoints at the Florida state line for anyone from the NY, NJ, CT area…so de Blasio is just returning the favor …but like someone else posted, he’s going to burn his own people that are returning from Florida….

  156. WHAT science, Stuart? What science? There is only OPINIONS, and, depending on your party affiliation your “opinion” will be there. I do NOT care if your opinion has a title behind it it is still YOUR OPINION. Refer me to ANY study that says wearing a mask lowers anyone’s exposure. Go ahead…I’ll wait

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