MAYVILLE — With Pennsylvania not being added to the list of states with travel advisories, Congressman Tom Reed says New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is changing tactics, while Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul says the issue around the Commonwealth was always just media speculatiion.
During a visit of a rapid testing site in Mayville Tuesday, Hochul said local concerns about Pennsylvania being added to the state’s Travel Advisory Quarantine list are just media speculation, even though figures seem to show the state meets the metrics to be on the list.
“I think it was just media speculation, nothing official from the government,” Hochul said when asked about the concerns.
She said the Governor has addressed border state issues and there is an inter-connectedness with border states that does not exist in other states
Meanwhile, Reed called out Cuomo for changing tactics when neighboring states meet the metrics for his advisory list.
“We are concerned about the Governor imposing radically inconsistent criteria for shutdowns between upstate and downstate,” Reed said. “For months, we’ve been told the Governor wants to follow the data and the science. Now, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have all hit the same metrics, yet everyone is wondering if Pennsylvania will be the only neighbor that gets hit with restrictions.”
Cuomo did not add Pennsylvania to his growing state list, but advised against non-essential travel between New York and Pensylvania.
“We are now in a situation where 43 states are now on our travel advisory,” Cuomo said. “This is a bizarre outcome. It shows you how different the situation is.”
County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler said she doesn’t believe Pennsylvania meet the metrics to be restricted but that the numbers are increasing.
“We just have to watch the numbers and see what happens,” Schuyler said.
“If Pennsylvania is added to the travel advisory, I think it could have a tremendous impact on our businesses,” she said.
Whatever is decided about neighboring states will not be in local hands, Schuyler said.
“It’s not a local decision. It won’t be local rules. It will be state rules,” she said.
She said infection rates in rural areas like Warren are lower than in more compact, urban areas.
“We have a lot of people who live in this county and they work in Erie County, Warren County, Bradford,” she said. “I would like to be able to look at things at a county level instead of looking at an entire state.”
County Executive P.J. Wendel and State Sen. George Borrello also raised concerns Monday.
Cuomo, on Tuesday, released the rolling seven-day infection rate for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Pennsylvania ranked 37th on the list with a 9.16 percent rate, while New York ranked third with 1.17 percent.