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PA Could Be Added To Travel Advisory List

A report that Pennsylvania could be added to New York’s travel advisory list due to an increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the state is prompting area elected officials to voice concerns over what it could mean for economies in Chautauqua and Warren counties.

“I am concerned that this will have a negative impact on our already strained local economy,” said State Sen. George Borrello. “We have a lot of economic activity and commerce in this region that involves Pennsylvania. This is another ‘one-size-fits-all’ reaction to something that should be handled in a more regional manner.”

Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, said he is working to obtain more information on whether Pennsylvania is expected to be added to the list this week.

WGRZ-TV in Buffalo reported Monday morning that five states, including Pennsylvania, could be added to the travel advisory list this week based on the state’s metrics.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June announced that New York was joining New Jersey and Connecticut to establish a travel advisory for those returning from states with significant community spread of COVID-19. The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from designated states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or an area with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average to quarantine for 14 days.

Most recently, Ohio, Michigan and Virginia were added to the advisory. The complete list includes: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The guidelines state that the advisory does not apply to those who pass through designated states for a limited time, identified as 24 hours through the “course of travel.”

As of this weekend, Warren County had 59 total cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Chautauqua County reported six new cases on Monday and 34 over the last three days, bringing total cases to 872.

In addition, the county Health Department reported that 18 people with the coronavirus have been hospitalized as of Saturday.

State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, said he and Borrello contacted Cuomo a few weeks ago over concerns what an advisory would mean for those who live in Pennsylvania and either work or shop over the state line.

“We, of course, have thousands of Pennsylvania residents who come up in the Jamestown area for shopping at our local stores,” said Goodell, also noting those who live in New York but work in Erie, Warren or Bradford in Pennsylvania. “If you’re a resident that crosses that border daily, there are concerns.”

Goodell said there remains low COVID-19 infection rates in Erie and Warren. “Hopefully, the governor will recognize theese infection rates between the counties.”

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