The intertwining of the Sunshine State and the Empire State, in terms of COVID-19 response, took yet another narrative turn Tuesday, as Florida allegedly sourced a contagion event.
The source was a religious service held on June 21 at 9 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Ticonderoga, Essex County, according to the New York Department of Health, acting in an abundance of caution.
“While only one individual in attendance is known to have tested positive at this time, given how quickly this virus can spread in large gatherings, the State is taking proactive measures to protect the community and encourages anyone who attended the service to be tested for COVID-19,” the Department asserted Tuesday.
“An initial investigation found that an individual who was present at the service tested positive for COVID-19 following exposure to an individual who contracted the virus in Florida,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “The individual from Essex County is adhering to appropriate self-isolation measures, and there have been no additional known exposures related to this religious service.
The incident comes after New York, along with Connecticut and New Jersey, imposed a 14-day quarantine requirement for travelers from Florida and other states where community spread runs rampant.
Ahead of the decision last week, Cuomo singled Florida out as an existential threat to New York’s fragile recovery.
“You look at Florida, more people are going into hospitals. It has nothing to do with testing. More people are going to ICU beds. It has nothing to do with testing.”
“The virus is up, more people are getting sick,” Cuomo continued. “The number of deaths keep going up.”
Florida surged past 152,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of the most recent numbers Tuesday, and that was despite a quarantine of tri-state residents in the spring ballyhooed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Community spread has been pervasive.
DeSantis, asked about the quarantine last week, dropped the demagogic flourishes that have characterized so much of the back and forth with Cuomo in recent months.
“They’ve got to do what they’ve got to do,” the Governor said about the decision.
Previously, DeSantis had been testy, saying that if Cuomo does quarantine Floridians, not to do it in New York nursing homes, where 6,300 have died from COVID-19.