Cuomo directed the state Department of Health to investigate the outbreak tied to a high school student who attended a June 20 high school graduation “drive-in” ceremony in Chappaqua after visiting Florida, where a new coronavirus surge has forced officials to shutter bars and beaches.
Cuomo said the student began showing symptoms after the event at the Chappaqua train station. Since the event, four others in attendance have tested positive for COVID-19.
“New Yorkers have controlled the spread of this unprecedented virus by being smart and disciplined, and our progress to-date is illustrated by the current low numbers of new cases and hospitalizations,” Cuomo said in a news release.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference alongside the National Guard at the Jacob Javits Center that will house a temporary hospital in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in March. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
“But as we are seeing in other states who reopened quickly, the pandemic is far from over and we need [to] stay vigilant. We’re prepared to do the aggressive testing and contact tracing required to slow and ultimately control any potential clusters of new cases like the one in Westchester County,” the governor added.
The infected Horace Greeley High School student also attended an unofficial graduation-related “Field Night” event on June 20 that was open to Horace Greeley juniors and seniors, and to students from surrounding school districts, Cuomo said.
The governor said those who attended the ceremony or other graduation events, which continued into June 21, were told to quarantine until July 5 and to expect a call from a contract tracer. Those sickened were self-isolating.
Horace Greeley held the graduation at the Chappaqua train station.
Chappaqua’s most famous residents, the Clintons, addressed the graduates via a video call.
Cuomo also said Saturday that he issued a new executive order that makes New York employees who voluntarily travel to high-risk states after June 25 ineligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the order was tied to the Horace Greeley graduation.