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TWO RENSSELAER DIRECTIVES SEEK TO CONTROL TRAVEL AND RELOCATION FROM DOWNSTATE TO COUNTY, TO PROTECT RESIDENTS DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Rensselaer County is taking new steps to protect county residents from the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, issuing directives to control non-essential travel and relocation from affected areas downstate, County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced.

The action comes after confirmed cases in Rensselaer County climbed to 45 on Friday. Six of the confirmed cases are from New York City residents who relocated to the county during the past several weeks. In one case, the relocation occurred last week.

“We are committed to fighting the spread of coronavirus in this county and see this as a common-sense approach that will protect those who live and work in Rensselaer County,” said McLaughlin.

“Nearly 84 percent of the total confirmed cases in New York State come from New York City, Long Island, and Westchester and Rockland counties. We have an opportunity now to stop a wider outbreak in upstate and Rensselaer County and will take full advantage of that opportunity,” added McLaughlin.

The directives include an order from the Public Health Director to control non-essential travel from Westchester County and areas south, including New York City and Long Island. Anyone from the affected areas traveling to Rensselaer County would be required to report to the county Health Department and subject to quarantine for 14 days.

Landlords would be prohibited from renting or leasing to prospective tenants from the affected areas while the order is in effect until review and approval by the Health Department.

“This would be a simple step that mirrors the new requirements put in by other countries and states to protect their residents from a further outbreak. Our Health Department is doing an outstanding job and can easily track this entry into our county and safeguard our residents and new arrivals,” said McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said he would also be issuing an internal directive to have county departments and agencies refuse aid, assistance or special service to any persons known to have arrived from an affected area and who have not cleared quarantine or Health Department review.

“This will help send the message that Rensselaer County is fully engaged in using all available means to fight coronavirus. Anyone moving up to our county from the affected areas should know that we take our resident’s public health very seriously and will not welcome those who do not adhere to these very basic methods to protect our people,” said McLaughlin.