Seeking to head off a second wave of coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday he plans to increase law enforcement patrols at New York airports.
Cuomo made the remarks as state health officials revealed three counties in western New York — Monroe, Onondaga and Buffalo’s Erie County — are facing sharp upticks in COVID-19 cases and new lockdown measures may come as soon as Monday.
Cuomo said he and Mayor Bill de Blasio have struck a deal to use NYPD cops and the National Guard to boost checkpoints at airports, which officials are using to try to prevent the virus from returning to New York from other parts of the country.
Under newly implemented state rules, most passengers flying into New York must have taken a coronavirus test that came back negative within three days of boarding the plane.
“You should not land if you do not have proof of a negative test,” Cuomo added.
However, the governor also offered a ray of hope for the Big Apple, saying he was ending some of the toughest public health rules he imposed on Brooklyn and Queens after the coronavirus broke out again in parts of those boroughs in September and October.
“Downstate New York is doing better than upstate New York, which is a total reversal from the first phase of COVID, where it was primarily a downstate problem and upstate New York said, ‘Oh, this is not a problem, this is not a problem,’” Cuomo told reporters. “It’s a total reversal.
“Downstate New York is doing better than upstate which is a total reverse from the first phase of COVID, where it was primarily a downstate problem,” Cuomo told reporters during a telephone briefing with reporters.
The “red zone” in hard-hit southern Brooklyn will shrink by half and state officials said they were removing all emergency restrictions reimposed to contain the outbreak in Far Rockaway.
However, the restrictions imposed to bring an outbreak in Queens’ Kew Gardens back under control will remain for the time being, Cuomo added.
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