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Monday, July 13, 2020

Cuomo will fine Floridians and other visitors for Covid-19 violations

TALLAHASSEE — Visitors to New York from states where Covid-19 infections are on the rise could face a $2,000 fine if they fail to provide information about where they plan to quarantine for two weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

In a tweet posted Monday afternoon, Cuomo wrote that out-of-state visitors from “high COVID states” must provide contact information when they arrive in New York.

“If you fail to provide it, you will receive a summons with a $2k fine,” Cuomo wrote in the tweet. “We’re serious about enforcing quarantine.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis had issued a similar quarantine order in March when New York was a hot spot for the virus. But a resurgence of infections that began in June has turned the tables on Florida, which now ranks among the country's worst-hit states.

DeSantis has remained critical of the way Cuomo has handled the pandemic in New York, but last week, Florida quietly praised Cuomo's office for shipping fresh doses of an antiviral drug believed to be useful in treating critical Covid-19 patients.

Data from the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center puts Florida fourth in the nation, with an average infection rate of 18.65 percent over the past seven days. Arizona's infection rate of 26.6 percent was the highest in the U.S., followed by Mississippi with nearly 21.5 percent, according to the Johns Hopkins data.

The hefty fine and summons is the latest addition to a quarantine order Cuomo issued two weeks ago for people visiting New York from 19 states. The seven-day average for New York was 1 percent, the Johns Hopkins report shows.

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