The state is investigating a COVID-19 cluster outbreak in Westchester centered around a Horace Greeley High School student who flew from Florida and attended the school’s drive-in graduation ceremony at the Chappaqua train station June 20th and a party afterwards, before reporting symptoms and testing positive for the virus.
Four people who attended the graduation ceremony and had contact with the student have also tested positive, according to the state Department of Health.
“All individuals who tested positive are currently self-isolating,” according to News 12 Westchester.
The state is now asking that anyone who attended the graduation ceremony, the “Field Night” party afterwards, or related events, to quarantine until July 5th.
The “Field Night” party was attended by “juniors and seniors and students from surrounding school districts,” the state DOH noted.
The state’s Contact Tracing Program is expected to reach out to anyone who attended the ceremony to encourage them to get tested.
"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," Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a release Saturday. "But as we are seeing in other states who reopened quickly, the pandemic is far from over and we need 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. If we are going to maintain the progress we've seen, we need everyone to take personal responsibility.”
The state issued guidance on June 14th on graduation ceremonies and the DOH investigation will "determine whether the guidance had been followed" at Horace Greeley HS, the release said.
On Wednesday, Cuomo and the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut announced that travelers coming into the tri-state region from states with rising cases -- including Florida -- face a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
On Friday, state officials in Florida reported 8,942 infections compared to 5,004 the day before, prompting the state to reverse its reopening plans. The jump contributed to a rise in cases nationwide for a third straight day.
Cuomo also announced a new executive order that any state employee who ”voluntarily travels to a high-risk state will not be eligible for the COVID protections we created under paid sick leave." The definition of high-risk was “any state that has a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10 percent test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average,” and the.order applies to personal travel only, he said.
On Friday, Cuomo also promised that the state will contribute "equipment, staff, knowledge, ventilators, National Guard assistance" to Florida as a way of managing the emerging crisis there.