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New York extends number of states facing quarantine order to 31, shuts down bars failing to follow guidelines

Bartender Lindsay Pacepours a beer for a customer June 22, 2020, at Shade Bar NYC in New York City.

(The Center Square) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued his two-front attack on COVID-19 Tuesday.

He joined with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont in expanding the travel advisory to include 10 additional states. While there are some exceptions, the advisory requires anyone coming from now 31 states to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Those flying into New York must provide their contact information before leaving the airport or face a $2,000 fine.

The states added are Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington. Minnesota dropped off the list. Those states either have reported a seven-day rolling average COVID-19 testing positivity rate of 10 percent or a seven-day rolling average of 10 positive tests per 100,000 residents.

The coronavirus continues to surge nationwide, as 41 states report infection rates going up. New York, which was once the worst-affected state, reported just two deaths on Monday, the fewest since the beginning stages of the emergency back in March.

“While today’s numbers are encouraging, we must remain vigilant,” he said.

While the travel advisory expanded, the Cuomo administration also took action in the state as the Liquor Authority suspended the liquor licenses of four downstate establishments.

The Brik Bar and MIA in the Astoria neighborhood in Queens as well as Maspeth Pizza in the Queens neighborhood by the same name had their licenses suspended. The Secrets Gentlemen’s Club on Long Island was also closed.

Cuomo had suggested such action was coming as he had bemoaned the large crowds gathering in front of several establishments and flouting the reopening rules on outdoor dining. Last week, he ordered updates to the rules that required patrons to buy food if they wanted a drink and banned people from walking up to bars and ordering drinks.

It also appears Cuomo got his point across to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Cuomo has been especially critical at the lack of enforcement from the city on social distancing and outdoor dining issues, saying local enforcement is necessary in order to prevent cases of COVID-19 from increasing significantly.

The mayor, who during his Monday briefing noted an unnamed Astoria restaurant was ordered closed, previously had pushed back, saying that was not a job for police.

However, on Monday, de Blasio’s tone had changed. He reminded residents and business owners that the reopenings were not yet a signal that life was returning to normal.

“No one wants to shut down bars or restaurants, but if they do not cooperate in our efforts to contain the coronavirus, they will be shut down,” de Blasio said Monday. “We don’t want to give out summonses. Everyone’s hurting right now, financially, economically, but if we have to, we’ll give out summonses. So, there’ll be heavier enforcement efforts by the Sheriff’s Office and when needed, by the NYPD as well, around bars and restaurants.”

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