New York City Metropolitan area is now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States with infections exceeding 30,000 as of March 30, 2020. It is nearly half the nation’s total and occurred almost entirely within the dense urban center in less than four weeks. Another 253 deaths were cited in a single day.
In an effort to prevent viral spread, other states have ordered inspections and quarantine for all persons arriving from New York State. In contrast, an in-state quarantine to protect mostly rural upstate residents was opposed by the state’s governor despite a conflict of interest between two entirely distinct regions.
Exacerbating this crisis, violent criminals are being released from Rikers Island and other downstate prisons. They are prone to head upstate along with those who can afford temporary residences there. Hospitals, infrastructure and law enforcement are not equipped to handle the sudden mass exodus while the people are placed at high risk of infection, death and overloaded facilities.
Be it therefore resolved, that the undersigned hereby request that our president and New York governor take immediate action to protect upstate residents north of Westchester County, including, but not limited to, the following:
1) A travel ban to be enforced at toll booths and random locations using protocols already in place for vehicle inspections and sobriety checkpoints;
2) A restriction on the transfer of infected patients to upstate facilities to safeguard a largely uninfected population and to prevent a second wave of infections in the epicenter when they return;
3) Bracelet monitors on all released inmates to assure their compliance with the travel ban;
4) Monitoring and mandates upon those arriving upstate to self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days;
5) Employment of the National Guard to assist enforcement measures.