NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is traveling to Savannah, Georgia, to meet with officials and help the Southern city fight against the coronavirus, which continues to spread across 40 states.
Cuomo and members of the state’s COVID-19 task force departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens just after 10 a.m. Monday to participate in a roundtable meeting with Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson and the city’s health experts to discuss how to establish testing and contact tracing operations and the best practices to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel compelled to go,” Cuomo said during a briefing at the airport before boarding a plane Monday morning.
The governor reviewed the state’s experiences since March establishing testing and contact tracing organizations and flattening the curve, or slowing the spread of the virus, and reminisced how more than 30,000 out-of-state health care workers volunteered to help New York in its time of need this spring.
“I said that day we would never forget it ... We live by the same code of generosity and community,” the governor added. “I go representing all New Yorkers. ... We have knowledge of how to do this. I probably have more experience than anyone in the country on this on the ground.”
The roundtable meeting will start 2:15 p.m. Monday from the Hyatt Regency hotel in Savannah. The event is closed to the press and public.
Cuomo, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, state Budget Director Robert Mujica, SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras and COVID-19 task force members Gareth Rhodes, state Department of Financial Services deputy superintendent; Larry Schwartz, former secretary to the governor; Lisa Pino, state Department of Health executive deputy commissioner; and Edgar Santana, director of Downstate Regional Affairs; will return to Albany by Monday evening, according to the governor’s office.
Cuomo and his aides will not be mandated to self-quarantine for two weeks when they return, the governor said, because essential workers are exempt from New York’s order mandating 14-day isolation for travelers from 23 states with high coronavirus infections, which includes Georgia.
Travelers do not have to self-quarantine if they spend fewer than 24 hours in one of the affected states.
The state reported 519 new COVID-19 cases, or about 1.05% positive, of the 49,342 tests conducted Sunday. Each of the state’s 10 regions reported a low, consistent positive COVID-19 testing rate of 1.7% or lower.
To see where each region stands on reopening and the complete county breakdown of COVID-19 cases and deaths statewide, view the COVID-19 map and tracker at hudsonvalley360.com/site/covid19.html.
Check back for more details on this developing story.