MAYOR DE BLASIO AND SHERIFF FUCITO VISIT COVID-19 TRAVEL CHECKPOINT

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Mayor Bill de Blasio: Everybody, we are here at the Bayonne Bridge. You can see this operation by the Sheriff’s Office and you can see immediately the impact it’s making. I want to thank – you are going to hear from Sheriff Joe Fucito in a moment. But I want to thank you Sheriff and your whole team. You know a lot of New Yorkers before the pandemic didn’t know a lot about the Sheriff’s Office but they have been heroes throughout these last six months. They have been there for New York City in so many ways, helping us to address this pandemic, saving lives, protecting people, dealing with all sorts of problems in neighborhoods. And really making a lot of problems stop because of the dedication of the team at the Sheriff’s Office. So I really want to thank them for their great work.

 And now with this important work, with these checkpoints, making sure they people visiting New York City understand, if they come from one of the states that requires a quarantine, if you come here from one of the states that’s had a big problem recently with the coronavirus, you need to quarantine when you get to New York City, if you are staying here. It doesn’t matter if you are from the other state or you are from New York City, if you’ve spent time in one of those states that’s in the middle of this crisis, when you get back here you have got to quarantine. And these checkpoints are making the point very clear. They are helping everyone to realize their responsibility to their fellow New Yorkers. They are helping everyone to understand what the law is. And a lot of information is being spread in this process and I really want to thank you Sheriff. Because I think the word – this has been one of the best ways we’ve helped to educate people about the quarantine law. And everybody, I want you to understand about 20 percent of the cases we are seeing now in New York City are from people who have traveled out of state to one of the areas experiencing a problem with the coronavirus. So this is a driving force in the level of infections we have right now. And we have seen in other parts of the world, that if the travel situation is not addressed dramatically and aggressively it becomes one of the biggest causes of spread. So we can’t let that happen in New York City. So we are doing this work with the Sheriff’s Office, with the travel companies, the hotels, a lot of participation to help us get this done.

 Everybody, the other thing I want to say is the Sheriff’s Office, they are going wherever the need is. We are here in Staten Island because obviously this is where people are coming in from I-95, from a lot of different states in the country. So this is one of the most sensitive entry points in the whole of the five boroughs. But the Sheriff’s Office will be out all over the city in the weeks to come. And the important thing is for people to realize they got to take this seriously. New York City has had a lot of success keeping the infection level low. We’ve done that with a lot of vigilance and with making sure we are educating people all the time. And what the Sheriff is doing is a key part of that for sure. So now my pleasure to introduce one of the – he used to unsung. He’s getting more sung now. And well deserved, one of the heroes fighting back the coronavirus, Sheriff Joe Fucito.

 New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito: Thank you Mr. Mayor. It’s always a hard follow up because I got to pull the mic down when the Mayor speaks. But very quickly, as the Mayor indicated, we are very proud of the Sheriff’s Office, the deputy sheriffs and detectives of the Sheriff’s Office that have been doing this work today. They do a tireless job every day. One of the most important things to remember is, the Sheriff’s Office is 394 years old. I think the second oldest office is the Mayor. So there is a long time partnership between the Sheriff and the Mayor. And I think it’s also important to note, you see more of the Sheriff when there are problems. When there are emergencies the laws of the state say the Sheriff has to step up and take action. And that’s what we are doing over the pandemic. And that’s what we are going to be doing in the future days. Stepping up to help New Yorkers. It’s very, very important.

 So, some quick tips – obviously avoid travel to quarantine states if you can. If you must travel then complete the travelers form and follow the quarantine guidelines. Failure to comply with these provisions of law can result in criminal charges and civil penalties. The Sheriff’s Office and the Taxi and Limousine Commission police, we want to give them a very big thank you. They have been helping us with this project, have conducted over 3,000 vehicle stops and issued over 12,000 masks to motorists. Compliance at vehicle checkpoints is very high with only two individuals receiving summonses for failure to comply. And in a few days vehicle checkpoint compliance will include bus traffic arriving in New York City that originated from other quarantine states. And we will be moving and looking at how we can reduce the numbers of travelers coming into the city who are not filling out the form. Education is the biggest part of it. So if you see this message, please fill out the form and follow the quarantine.

 Mayor: Excellent. Thank you, everybody.

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