COVID-19 Tri-State Area

Tri-State Announcements & Updates

New York

December 30, 2020 Update:

On Tuesday, December 29, 2020, Governor Cuomo revised the state’s long-standing quarantine requirement regarding COVID-19. The new order, effective immediately, lowers the quarantine requirement from 14 to 10 days, reflecting the guidelines as currently provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This updated quarantine order covers all individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 and those who have traveled outside New York state for over 24 hours.

Further, it was also announced that there are new guidelines allowing travelers to New York to “test out” of the mandatory 10-day quarantine for asymptomatic individuals. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York are exempt from the travel advisory; however covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. The guidance also applies to any person who has traveled to CDC Levels 2 and higher Health Notice country under the COVID risk assessment.

For any traveler to New York State from a noncontiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 and higher country, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 10-day quarantine are below:

  • For travelers who were out-of-state for more than 24 hours:
    • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York.
    • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
    • On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests comes back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.
  • For travelers who were out-of-state for less than 24 hours:
    •  The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
    • However, the traveler must fill out our traveler form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.

The local health department must make contact with the state the traveler came from, to ensure contact tracing proceeds there as well. All travelers must continue to fill out our traveler form upon arrival into New York State to contribute to New York State’s robust contact tracing program.

November 12, 2020 Update:

Governor Cuomo Announces Restaurants, Bars & Other SLA-licensed Entities Must Close In-person Service From 10 PM to 5 AM Daily

As of yesterday, November 11th, New York’s Governor Cuomo declared that bars, restaurants, establishments with New York State liquor licenses (such as bowling alleys), and gyms must close each day at 10:00 pm statewide beginning on Friday, November 13th in a new crackdown to contain an uptick in outbreaks of COVID-19 across the state. Restaurants will be able to continue takeout and delivery past the 10:00 pm deadline however, private gatherings will also be limited to 10 people which will most likely impact many New Yorkers making their Thanksgiving plans.

The continued adherence to tightening of activities and hyper-vigilance doesn’t bode well for movie theaters in New York City, which remain closed and have been lobbying to reopen before more key studio releases drop from the holiday schedule.

New York’s Travel Advisory 2.0: Frequently Asked Questions

New York’s travel advisory has been substantially altered during the past two weeks. On October 31, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 205.2, which revised the New York State Travel Advisory for domestic travel. On November 3, the New York State Department of Health issued an updated guidance document (the November 3 Guidance). The changes made by Executive Order 205.2 and the November 3 Guidance have generated confusion. Below, we discuss some frequently asked questions we have received about these updates.

Which states and countries does the travel advisory apply to?

The travel advisory applies to all states except those bordering New York: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. It also applies to travelers coming to New York from any country with a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 designation. The full list of Level 2 and Level 3 countries may be found here.

What does the travel advisory require?

Before, people coming to New York from a designated state or country would have to quarantine for 14 days without the ability to “test out” of quarantine. Executive Order 202.52 and the November 3 Guidance changed this rule. Now, travelers coming to New York must receive a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arriving in New York. Further, travelers coming to New York must quarantine for 14 days and may test out of the 14-day quarantine if they do the following:

  1. Quarantine for at least three days;
  2. On the fourth day, seek a COVID-19 test; and
  3. Receive a second negative test result.

A traveler may exit quarantine upon receiving the second negative test result.

Does the 24-hour exemption still apply?

Yes. Travelers coming to New York after being in a non-continuous state or a designated country for less than 24 hours do not have to quarantine. Such travelers must still fill out the traveler health form upon return and receive testing for COVID-19 on their fourth day in New York.

How does the November 3 Guidance impact essential workers?

The short-term, medium-term, and long-term exceptions for essential workers continue. The short-term and medium-term exceptions remain the same from the prior guidance.

There are changes to the long-term exception. For essential workers traveling to New York for a period of greater than 36 hours—including New Yorkers who traveled out of state—essential workers must be tested for COVID-19 on the fourth day after arriving in New York. During that interim period, such employees may continue to work.

There are exceptions. Nursing home and adult care facility staff must receive a negative COVID-19 test before returning to work. Further, teachers, school employees, and child-care workers cannot use the long-term essential worker exemption. If such employees want to “test out” of their 14-day quarantine, they must follow the testing protocol described above.

May international travelers qualify as essential workers?

Yes. The November 3 Guidance is explicit: international travelers may qualify as essential workers.

Who is considered an essential worker?

The November 3 Guidance defines three types of essential workers:

1. Any individual employed by an entity included on the Empire State Development (ESD) Essential Business list;

2. Any individual who meets the COVID-19 testing criteria, pursuant to their status as either an individual who is employed as a health care worker, first responder, or in any position within a nursing home, long-term care facility, or other congregate care setting, or an individual who is employed as an essential employee who directly interacts with the public while working, pursuant to DOH Protocol for COVID-19 Testing, issued May 31, 2020; or

3. Any other worker deemed such by the Commissioner of Health.

What are the consequences for non-compliance?

If an individual does not follow the proper testing protocols described above to opt-out of the quarantine, the individual must quarantine for 14 days.

If an individual violates a mandatory quarantine order from the Department of Health and/or the applicable local health department, the individual may face a civil penalty of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to 15 days.

Who must fill out the traveler health form?

All individuals coming to New York from any non-contiguous state must fill out the traveler health form, which may be found at https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Welcome-to-New-York-State-Traveler-Health-Form. This includes New York residents who are returning to the state after being in a designated state for less than 24 hours.

Are there any other exemptions to the travel advisory?

Yes. The Department of Health may grant specific exemptions “based upon extraordinary circumstances, which do not warrant quarantine” but may be in the interest of public health.

New Jersey

December 23, 2020 Update:

New Jersey strongly discourages all non-essential interstate travel at this time.

Travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging following recommendations from the CDC:

  • If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip.
  • If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time.
  • If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.

The advisory is no longer specific to certain states. Because of the rising number of case counts across all states, there is an increased risk of spread of COVID-19 upon return from any travel.

The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected. Travelers arriving from areas with increasing COVID-19 cases may wish to postpone their travel to the region if they are unwilling or unable to follow the quarantine advisory.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from states and territories beyond the immediate region should quarantine at their home, or a hotel or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items.

We ask that anyone who travels to New Jersey from a state/territory outside the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) complete a voluntary online survey to provide information about where you are traveling from and your destination.

Access the survey by visiting covid19.nj.gov/njtravel or texting “NJTRAVEL” to 898211.

April 4, 2020 Update:

Paid Sick Leave & Family Leave Insurance Benefits

  • Amended to permit employers to provide sick leave when an employee is unable to work because:
    • There is a state of emergency or threat of health to others by the presence of an employee in the community (paid sick leave).
    • The same circumstance as above but determination relates to an employee’s family member in need of care by the employee (paid sick leave & FLI).
    • The employee is caring for a family member who is in isolation or quarantine because of “suspected exposure to a communicable disease” (paid sick leave & FLI).
    • The employee is isolated or quarantined (paid sick leave).
    • The employee’s workplace or child’s daycare or school is closed because of a state of emergency (paid sick leave).
April 4, 2020 Update:

Family Leave Act

  • FMLA is amended to expand the definition of “serious health condition” during a state of emergency.
  • This will apply to employers with 30+ employees.
  • It prohibits an employer from denying family leave to any employee during an epidemic of a communicable disease or a known suspected exposure to such a disease.
    • This will apply to care for a family member who needs to be quarantined; or because the family member’s place of care is closed due to a state of emergency.
April 4, 2020 Update:

Temporary Disability Insurance

  • The law has been modified to waive the seven-day waiting period for benefits during a state of emergency if the disability is for illness caused by an epidemic of a communicable disease, a known or suspected exposure to the disease, or in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Employers with a private disability plan instead of a New Jersey state plan are required to provide these benefits as well.

Connecticut

November 6, 2020

Connecticut is currently in Phase 2.1: As Connecticut continues taking steps to protect residents from the spread of COVID-19, the state is currently in Phase 2.1 of its reopening plans. It previously had been in Phase 3, however, due to a spike in cases statewide, the state rolled back to Phase 2.1, which is a slightly modified version of Phase 2, effective November 6, 2020. Here are all of the rules the apply in Phase 2.1.

 

Publication date of below – unknown

Travel Advisory: A travel advisory is currently in effect for anyone entering Connecticut from states with high community spread of COVID-19. Click here for detailed information on the travel advisory. Executive Order Regarding Travel: Pursuant to Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 9S, anyone traveling into Connecticut from a state or territory, other than New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island, or from a country other than the United States, is directed to self-quarantine for a 10-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or country

In general, for more information please refer to the Connecticut State website.