New York’s travel advisory was expanded Tuesday to require visitors from 23 states to self-isolate for two weeks, adding Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin to the list.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest executive order is nothing less than an effort to keep COVID-surge states from painting New Yorkers into a corner from which they cannot escape.

The virus continues to spread in 39 states and Puerto Rico with 61,492 new cases Monday nationwide. Visitors are required to self-isolate for two weeks when they arrive in New York from Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma, California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Texas, plus the four additional states.

This cannot be more clearly stated: Almost half the nation is seeing record surges in coronavirus cases and deaths from COVID-19. New York has to be smart and learn from the mistakes made by other states. If we don’t wear face coverings and continue to practice social distancing, cases will spike.

If we are to keep what is happening in Florida, Texas and other Sun Belt states from happening here, we must comply with state guidance, socially distance, wear masks and wash our hands regularly, no matter how frustrating it is. The rising number of cases around the country continues to threaten all that New York has achieved in the last four months.

Now, compliance is a two-way street. Affected travelers are required to complete and submit the state Health Department’s Traveler Form, which airlines have agreed to administer to passengers before landing in New York. The state expanded its enforcement of the advisory Tuesday with increased numbers of Health Department officials stationed at the Port Authority and regional airports to ensure affected travelers complete the document before leaving New York airports.

This isn’t about keeping people out of New York. It’s about safety, saving lives and economic recovery that all New Yorkers have worked to accomplish.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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