With an increase in summer visitors expected in Putnam County for the summer, the Department of Health is encouraging residents to put off travel plans out of the state and instead invest in the local economy.
The Department of Health said that as the county gets set to enter Phase 4 of reopening the economy from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Tuesday, July 7, “snow-bird” residents will be returning home, and it’s more important now to boost local businesses recovering from the outbreak.
“When feeling the urge to travel—you don’t have to look far … Our community has so much to offer,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “Families that have planned to spend dedicated time together this summer can discover Putnam’s beauty and rich history,
“Stay local. Dine outdoors in Putnam,” she added. “Explore our trails and lakes. Create adventure locally. In addition to enjoying your time with your family, you will be part of the solution.”
Health officials noted that currently, under an Executive Order issued by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, travelers coming into the state from a state with a positive COVID-19 test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10 percent test positivity rate, over a seven-day rolling average must be subjected to a 14-day quarantine.
“As we enter into Phase Four, it is important to keep up with the safety precautions that have gotten us this far,” County Health Commissioner Michael Nesheiwat said. “Putnam residents have listened to the guidance and have put in a lot of hard work, but we are not out of the woods just yet.”
Nesheiwat said that they are currently investigating a “limited number” of recently known positive COVID-19 cases that came from travelers coming in from states with high infection rates.
Officials noted that anyone found violating the state’s travel advisory quarantine order risk could face potential fines of up to $10,000.
“While this number remains small and people have been isolated, when it comes to the health of your family, your community or even encountering a fine— the risks just aren’t worth it,” he said.
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