Hochul questions report Pa. could be added to travel list

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is pictured with County Executive PJ Wendel and Christine Schuyler on Tuesday. P-J photo by Cameron Hurst

MAYVILLE — New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul questioned the “veracity of a report” that Pennsylvania would be added to the state’s travel advisory list during a visit to a Chautauqua County COVID-19 testing site on Tuesday.

“I think it was just media speculation,” Hochul said of the report. “There’s been nothing official from state government, nothing official from us. I think everyone got excited about some media speculation on that.”

Hochul said that the state will continue to monitor numbers in Pennsylvania, which announced 1,557 additional cases of the coronavirus Tuesday morning. The state has reported 184,871 total cases.

“We’ll watch the numbers, but the governor addressed the challenges of contiguous states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut where there is such interaction,” Hochul said. “There’s an interconnectedness that you don’t have with other states so we’ve been working together and that’s not something that has happened thus far.”

In an email statement to The Post-Journal and the OBSERVER, Hochul’s communications director Haley Viccaro clarified her remarks, noting that her statement Tuesday morning was consistent with Cuomo’s messaging.

Hochul added, “All I’m doing is asking everyone to make sure they keep wearing their masks and being social distant and hopefully our neighbors in Pennsylvania are doing the same.”

WGRZ-TV in Buffalo reported Monday morning that five states, including Pennsylvania, could be added to the travel advisory list this week based on the state’s metrics.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June announced that New York was joining New Jersey and Connecticut to establish a travel advisory for those returning from states with significant community spread of COVID-19. The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from designated states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or an area with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average to quarantine for 14 days.

The guidelines state that the advisory does not apply to those who pass through designated states for a limited time, identified as 24 hours through the “course of travel.”

As of this weekend, Warren County had 59 total cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Chautauqua County reported six new cases on Monday and 34 over the last three days, bringing total cases to 872.

See Wednesday’s edition for complete coverage.


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