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New York businesses grapple with quarantine compliance questions

Arriving travelers walk by a sign in the baggage claim area of Terminal B on June 25, 2020, at LaGuardia Airport in New York. New York, Connecticut and New Jersey are asking visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates to quarantine for 14 days.

(The Center Square) – New York’s 14-day self-quarantine order to help curb the spread of COVID-19 has led to further uncertainty for some companies as they seek to implement reopening plans amid the pandemic.

Labor and employment lawyer Adam Mastroleo told Syracuse.com that the situation is changing all the time.

“This really impacts what businesses do with their employees,” Mastroleo said. “With my clients, they want to comply with the state’s requirements. They want to ensure the health and safety of their employees. This puts them in a tough situation.”

Some of the confusion arises over sick leave and essential out-of-state work, and communication with employees is crucial amid the evolving scenario, Mastroleo said.

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced that 10 more states are now part of New York’s self-quarantine order, bringing the total to 31.

“New Yorkers showed incredible courage and resiliency throughout this pandemic, and nowhere is their work more evident than in the numbers we release every day, including in New York City, once a global hotspot,” Cuomo said in a recent news release. “However, the success of our efforts depends on citizens’ willingness to comply with state guidance, socially distance, wear masks and wash their hands, and rising cases around the country continue to threaten our progress, which is why four new states have been added to New York’s travel advisory.”

The order, which was first enacted June 24, applies to anyone arriving from a state with a 10% or above positive test rate for the coronavirus or rates higher than 10 per 100,000 residents.

“It’s also clear based on contact tracing that many of the new cases in New York are a result of a lack of compliance during the July 4 weekend and illustrate how quickly the virus spreads, with one party, for example, infecting more than a third of attendees,” Cuomo said in reference to a Suffolk County gathering where 35% of the people there became infected.

“I cannot be more clear,” Cuomo said. “Look at what’s happening in the rest of the country – if we are not smart, if we don’t wear masks and socially distance, cases will spike. No one wants to go back to the hell we experienced three months ago, so please stay vigilant.”

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