WPCNR TUESDAY GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO BRIEFING. By John F. Bailey. May 19, 2020 UPDATED MAY 20 9:55 AM UPDATED MAY 20, 2:35 PM EDT:
In the Q & A, at the governor’s Tuesday CoronaVirus briefing at noon in Manhasset day, the governor was asked if travelers coming into New York area airports were being screened for the coronavirus.
The Governor said that was not a state jurisdiction, that the federal government set all policies on customs and entry into the country procedures.
He did not say the passengers were not being tested for coronavirus or are being queried of signs of symptoms of it. He did not say they were being tested either. Asked if there was any coordination between customs/immigration and the state, the governor said walking out, “it is up to the federal government.”
WPCNR has learned from a person familar with current airline policies and conditions at Port Authority controlled NY airports that airline traffic is—
“slightly on the rise. But the Port Authority has no system of testing in place.
And to my knowledge no airline has a system in place. There might have been temperature checks, but there isn’t rapid Covid testing available. Airlines and the airport have policies enforcing the use of masks. Airlines will actually deny boarding to wear masks.“
WPCNR has a call into the Port Authority of NY and NJ to clarify this issue as to what COVID testing is being done, whether tracing is in place, or quarantines prescribed in case of potential positives (with fevers or symptoms).
In the “Q & A” in the Wednesday Governor Andrew Cuomo, no member of the media followed up on a clarification of whether or not active Coid testing is ongoing at JFK or Newark for disembarking internarion flights.
In the last week in February, a traveler coming to New York from Spain told WPCNR they were not screened for the coronavirus in any way going through customs and immigration at JFK airport. This was two weeks before the travel policies were put in place.
WPCNR notes that coronavirus screening and temperature checks began being conducted on arrivals from Europe at 13 points of entry beginning in mid-March, at which time the screening resulted in waits for customs clearance in Chicago as long as 5 hours. It is unclear whether these delays have been straightened out by more Customs and Immigration personnel by this time. (But FLIGHTS are significantly reduced at this time.) The CNN report on these delays in Mid March may be read here: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/coronavirus-airport-screening-sunday/index.html
CNN on March 16 reported that passengers mostly US Citizens experienced 5 hours and more delays in bunched conditions at O’Hare Airport Chicago due to first initial customs screening after flights from Europe were placed on additional scrutiny by the U.S. Government. First arrivals had to have passport and medical forms checked, then go to a coronavirus screening and temperature check. This was back in mid-March.
It is unclear at this time, whether travelers if even having their temperature taken coming into JFK and Newark airports are being traced if they are found to have temperature.
CNN reported that if travelers had a fever in mid-March screenings, they were asked by Customs & Immigration to quarantine for 14 days.
On another concerning issue, The Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome (PMSIS) condition affecting children with corona virus exposure and having coronavirus antibodies now number 137. It affects children from 1 to 20 and is apparently growing by approximately 10 cases a day.
The information was given in response to a question by a reporter on why New York City Mayor William DiBlasio’s count of such cases was higher. Executive Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa said the DiBlasio number counted possible cases, not confirmed. The state count is confirmed cases, she said. No other information on the disease spread which is developing more concern by the day for summer camp openings and school openings in the fall was given.
The Governor called for the federal government to assure that any vaccine found successful in curing coronavirus by licensed to manufacturers worldwide and not be manufactured by one company exclusively.
Governor Cuomo said the state is developing a pilot visitation protocol for visits by loved ones to visit hospitals in the state to see patients in the hospital, but they would have to wear masks and protective equipment provided by the hospital, and are subject to symptom and temperature checks before they could see their loved ones. The Pilot program will be tried at Westchester Medical Center and 15 other hospitals across the downstate region.
The New York State Hospitalization rate is down, and the number of deaths Monday in the state declined to 105, 1 less than Sunday, that the Governor called “still frightfully high.” He said the Long Island death rate previous had death rates of 100 residents a day, now it is averaging 113. As a result the Nassau County hospitals are being cleared to schedule elective surgeries.
The Governor announced the Capitol Region has acquired the number of tracers needed and that region will be cleared for opening tomorrow.
The Governor repeated his endorsement of pro sports teams to resume play without fans in the stands. He repeated his support, saying “we’re willing to be a full partner — anything we can do to make it happen.”
The governor cleared outdoor Memorial Day observances with less than 10 persons.