Local Officials Decry Cuomo Mandate Without Details Or Advanced Notice

Image by the National Democratic Convention / MGN Online.

MAYVILLE — In what seems to be on ongoing trend, Chautauqua County officials received no advanced notice of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s testing mandate for visitors to New York, despite his making operations and enforcement issues the responsibility of county health officials.

And, local lawmakers are taking exception to Cuomo’s plans.

Chautauqua County Executive P. J. Wendel told WNYNewsNow that the state did not give county leaders any advanced warning and he needs guidelines from the state on what they expect to be done and how they expect it to be done.

State Senator George Borrello said this was another example of Cuomo picking style over substance in a move “more for show” than actual progress.

State Representative Andy Goodell said the latest plan is unenforceable and unworkable.

“I don’t know why more and more is being put on the counties. If this is a requirement, they are making at the state level and we’re going to put the onus and the expense on the counties, we need some very clear guidance,” Wendel said.

Cuomo’s newest mandate will require every visitor to New York State to show proof of a negative coronavirus test, and then be tested again following a 3-day quarantine. This replaces a 14-day quarantine that was in place for travelers from certain states.

“There’s no collaboration with counties,” Borrello said. “There’s been no change to the executive order, and we’re told this takes effect the day after the election which I find interesting.”

Borrello explained that under Cuomo’s order, someone coming into the state would need a test before arriving, a three-day quarantine and another test in three days.

Cuomo says enforcement of the travel restrictions will be done at the local level by health departments.

Asked about not getting advanced warning from Cuomo’s administration, Wendel explained it’s nothing new.

“Pretty much, that’s how it has been. This is something new that came as a surprise to everybody. There was no forewarning, nothing that would lead us to believe this was going to happen. This is going to be very challenging,” Wendel said.

Wendel said he is reaching out to county executives across the state to share concerns and discuss what happens next.

“I understand the need to want to be cautious but at the same time it’s the only state in the nation taking these measures and without coordination with the counties,” Borrello said.

“It’s truly a draconian measure to show he’s the toughest governor with the virus,” Borrello said. “It’s style over substance.”

Goodell said the new plan is unenforceable, while the previous travel ban was unconstitutional.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people that travel between our neighboring states and New York,” Goodell said. “There’s no enforcement mechanism. What are you going to set a health check at the Thruway at Ripley?”


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