'Teams Will Be Out in Force,' Says NYC Sheriff as Coronavirus Cases Surge Before Thanksgiving

'Teams Will Be Out in Force,' Says NYC Sheriff as
Coronavirus Cases Surge Before Thanksgiving 1

New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito on Tuesday urged travelers to follow the city’s COVID-19 Thanksgiving travel guidelines and warned that “sheriff teams will be out in force.”

Speaking at a press conference with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Fucito said, “The city of New York provides tremendous support for people, tremendous education, but there has to be enforcement in order to keep everyone safe.”

“Sheriff teams will be out in force as the holidays approach. There will be vehicle checkpoints at key bridges and crossings throughout New York City,” Fucito said, adding that sheriff teams will also be conducting checkpoints for out-of-state buses.

“If you violate the travel quarantine, there will be consequences. Violation of a self-quarantine travel regulation may result in deputy sheriffs serving you a mandatory quarantine order issued by the health commissioner,” he said.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the city requires a 14-day quarantine for “any individual who has spent more than 24 hours in any state on New York’s Restricted State List in the last 14 days.”

In addition to the checkpoints and quarantine mandates, travelers coming into New York City will be asked to submit a health form upon arrival. “In cases of violation, deputies could serve you with a civil summons that carries a $1,000 fine,” Fucito said.

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While Fucito noted that travelers will be screened when they arrive in the city, he said the sheriff’s office will “be concentrating on large-scale gatherings.”

Signs warn travelers about COVID-19 in New York’s LaGuardia Airport on November 24. Despite warnings from government and politicians not to travel for Thanksgiving, millions of Americans have been flying and driving to meet friends and family for the holiday. Spencer Platt/Getty

Fucito’s comments come as cases of the coronavirus continue to surge in New York and the nation. In an effort to mitigate the virus’s spread, the state has limited Thanksgiving gatherings to just 10 people or less, in addition to the screening checkpoints for travelers coming into the city.

According to its Department of Health, the city has over 281,948 confirmed virus cases and at least 19,549 deaths. The department’s data also shows at least 8,305 cases, 647 hospitalizations and 57 deaths in the past seven days.

De Blasio also spoke during Tuesday’s press conference and echoed many of the points Fucito made, telling New Yorkers and those traveling into the city that “we’re going to make sure that people are reminded constantly throughout this whole holiday season [that] if you travel, there are very clear rules you have to follow.”

The mayor continued, “You’re going to see the presence of the city of New York when you travel, particularly through our Sheriff’s Office. You’re going to see that there are really clear rules to be followed and they will be enforced. And you’re going to know that if someone does not follow those rules that there are real penalties, substantial financial penalties that will be applied.”

Newsweek reached out to the New York City Sheriff’s Office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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