Cuomo Wins Dismissal of Suit Over N.Y.’s Covid Quarantine Rule

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo won a fight over his authority to control the pandemic, as a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging his executive order requiring visitors from states with spiking Covid-19 numbers to go into quarantine for 14 days.

Cuomo’s order was “rational” because it intended to stop the spread of a “highly contagious” virus, and there’s no indication that a less restrictive rule would have had the same effect on public health, U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla said in a decision Wednesday in Manhattan.

The suit was filed by Oklahoma attorney Jeffrey D. Jones, who argued that the order, issued last June, violated his constitutional right to travel among the states. Failla held that it was reasonably targeted at states with “significant community transmission” rather than the entire country.

Read More: N.Y. Governor Sued Over Out-of-State Visitor Quarantine Rule

“Individuals who are infected with Covid-19 but present as asymptomatic may unwittingly subject others to the risk of infection; and the disease has an incubation period of up to fourteen days,” the judge said. “For these reasons, at the time the executive order was enacted, there was no indication that less restrictive means would have achieved New York State’s stated interests.”

The order has been eclipsed by falling test positivity rates across the country, but the ruling affirms the extent of Cuomo’s authority. The governor’s win comes as the embattled Democrat faces state and federal investigations into alleged misconduct, including allegations of sexual harassment and claims that he covered up nursing home deaths from Covid and provided his family members with virus testing before it was widely available. Cuomo has denied wrongdoing.

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