Mayor Bill de Blasio has advised New Yorkers to avoid travel during the holidays as the number of COVID-19 continues to rise across the country.
The country reported 80,000 new cases of the virus, setting a one-day record, earlier this week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
De Blasio said the city will strengthen its enforcement of travel guidelines that require those entering New York from high-risk states to self-quarantine for two weeks.
“It’s hard and it’s painful. Hopefully this will be the only holiday season that will be affected by this horrible disease, ”said de Blasio. De Blasio, who normally travels to visit family during Thanksgiving and Christmas, said his family has no plans to leave town for the holidays.
Mayor de Blasio also urged the federal government to enforce stricter rules for those traveling during the holiday season and to require those who travel by air to show proof that they have tested negative for COVID at least 72 hours before their flight.
De Blasio said the city will work to increase already existing COVID-19 testing efforts at John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. “We want to make it easy and clear that anyone who gets off a plane should be tested immediately,” de Blasio said.
The city is working to prevent a second wave of the virus after a number of COVID clusters appeared in Brooklyn and Queens last month and surpassed the threshold of 550 new cases last Friday. On Tuesday, city hall reported that the city’s overall COVID positivity rate is 2.48%, that there are 528 new cases based on a seven-day average, and the total number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 is 60. Numbers are above average but still lower COVID numbers for most other states.
“The best would be to keep it local,” de Blasio said. “Stay close. Keep it safe. It’s not easy, but none of it has been easy.
This story first appeared on amny.com.