Breaking News NYC - Neighborhoods shut-down in Brooklyn and Queens + Mandatory Quarantine for International Countries.


The NEW Cluster Action Initiative

From today, New York will close some specific areas of the state to protect itself from the recent progressive increase of COVID infections in "clusters" areas.

The areas to be shut down have been identified calculating the number of new COVID cases that emerged in recent weeks in each respective zone. Some of these clusters are now seeing infections rate between 6% and 20%! Which is staggering compared to the average 1.2% infection rate across NYS.

This new initiative called the Cluster Action Initiative is carried out in three steps -- (1) take decisive action within the affected cluster - (2) intervene in the areas surrounding the cluster to stop the spread elsewhere - (3) and then take precautionary actions in peripheral communities.

These groups and peripheral areas are distinguished by color: (1) red, (2) orange, and (3) yellow with the corresponding restriction level as shown in the table below. The restrictions will remain in effect for at least 14 days and then adjusted based on the infection rate.

The initiative will currently apply to clusters in the following areas:
  • Broome County (One Area -- Yellow zone)
  • Brooklyn (One Area -- Red, Orange, and Yellow zones)
  • Orange County (One Area -- Red and Yellow zones)
  • Queens (Two Areas -- Red, Orange, and Yellow zones)
  • Rockland County (One Area -- Red and Yellow zones)

These are the Restrictions:


For the Red zone - The Cluster itself

Houses of worship: 25% capacity with a maximum of 10 people.
Mass gatherings: prohibited.
Businesses: Only essential businesses are opened.
Restaurants: take away only.
Schools: closed, only remote.

For the Orange zone - The area around the cluster

Houses of worship: 33% capacity with a maximum of 25 people
Mass gatherings: maximum 10 people, indoors and outdoors
Businesses: Closing of non-essential high-risk businesses, such as gyms and personal care.
Restaurants: outdoor-only with a max of 4 people per table
Schools: closed, only remote

For the Yellow zone - The precautionary zone

Houses of worship: 50% capacity.
Mass gatherings: maximum of 25 people, indoors and outdoors.
Businesses: open.
Restaurants: indoor and outdoor dining with a maximum of 4 people per table.
Schools: Open with mandatory weekly student and teacher/staff tests for in-person teaching. The New York State Department of Health will set a percentage of teachers and students/staff who must be tested by Friday.

New Quarantine Order for those arriving in New York from abroad:

Governor Cuomo has issued a new executive order -- travelers entering the United States from any country with a Level 2 or 3 Health Alert must quarantine for a period of 14 days.

Since the list of countries subject to this new quarantine order is extremely long, it is much simpler to list those countries that ARE NOT subject to this quarantine order. There are exactly 31 countries in the world that present a low-risk COVID-19 transmission > Level 1 while all the other countries are either tagged with a Level 2 or Level 3 (moderate or high risk) alert.

Considering that at a federal level, there has been a severe loosening of COVID-19 restrictions with a clear consequent increase of cases around the entire United States, Governor Cuomo in order to continue to contain the transmission of COVID-19 in New York State issued this new executive order. The 31 countries not subject to this mandatory quarantine are the following. Let's see how many you know!
American Samoa, Anguilla, Bonaire, Brunei, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Guernsey, Greenland Grenada, Isle of Man, Laos, Macao SAR, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand Palau, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sint Eustatius, Taiwan, Thailand Timor, Leste.

To be clear, if you are arriving in New York from any other country (except these 31!) you will need to quarantine for 14 days.

Stay Safe and Healthy!