UPDATE: New COVID-19 cases in Benton

John Christensen

After three weeks with no new COVID-19 cases reported, Yates County Public Health learned of three new cases in the Town of Benton, though neither case is associated with The Homestead nursing home.

YCPH Deputy Director Sara Christensen says the case reported Friday, June 19 was a person in their 40s who was symptomatic. The case reported Monday morning, June 22 was a person in their 60s who also showed Coronavirus symptoms. Christensen says both people are in isolation in their homes, their contacts have been traced, and those people who were in contact will remain in 14-day quarantine.

UPDATE: A third case was reported Tuesday, June 23 after press time. This person in their 50s,  is also a resident of Benton and not connected in any way with The Homestead. Christensen says there is a connection between the second and third new cases.

While many people are encouraged by the Phase 3 re-openings, Christensen urges all residents to maintain the basic preventative measures of social distancing, frequent and thorough hand washing, and wearing face masks when in contact with others, if they want the progress to continue. She reminds the public that businesses are mandated to enforce the precautions. Those not complying can be reported to Public Health at 315-536-5160 or to town or village code enforcement officers.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will direct travelers from states with high rates of COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. The Democratic governors of the three states held a joint news conference to announce the new travel advisory, six days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo first threatened to put it in place.

The move comes three months after Florida, Texas, South Carolina and other states instituted a similar quarantine policy that included travel from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which came at a time when Florida’s coronavirus rates were low and the Northeast states were being hit hard. Since then, the rates have flipped: Florida is identifying thousands of new cases of COVID-19 each day, while New York is regularly seeing below 700.

The travel advisory will take effect Thursday, Cuomo said. “I think it’s right and I think it’s smart and I’m glad we’re doing it together,” Cuomo said during a news conference Wednesday in Manhattan.

Cuomo said the order will apply to travelers from states that have identified 10 residents that have tested positive for COVID-19 for every 100,000 residents on a seven-day rolling average, or a 10% positive rate for total daily tests on a seven-day average.