KEY POINTS

  • The hasty reopening of many states has triggered a massive rise in infections since last week
  • Twenty-six states are now reporting more new cases than they did last week
  • The U.S. now has to contend with 30,000 daily COVID-19 cases 

A travel restriction by the tri-states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut -- once among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic -- against travelers from nine other states with high positivity rates took effect midnight Wednesday. This follows record-high COVID-19 single-day cases in Florida, Texas and California.

The travel advisory issued jointly by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont Wednesday requires people arriving from states with high coronavirus rates to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

Immediately hit by the restriction are travelers coming from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas. Other states will be included depending on their compliance with a set of criteria drawn-up by the three states. The nine states on the list failed to meet this criteria for now.

The worst hit by the new COVID-19 wave now hammering the country are California, Texas, Florida and Arizona. California, Texas, Florida are the three most populous states in the U.S.

The three governors said the travel advisory applies to anyone coming from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average. Lamont said he and the two other governors "reluctantly" decided to institute the travel advisory.

"We have to make sure the virus doesn't come in on a plane," said Cuomo. "We worked very hard to get the viral transmission rate down, and we don't want to see it go up."

On Wednesday, California, Texas and Florida all set records for the largest number of new cases in one day. Hospitalizations in these states are also rising at their fastest rates.

Texas reported 5,551 cases Tuesday, breaking the previous record of 5,489 set only on Monday. California, the most populous state with 40 million people, revealed 7,149 cases Tuesday, easily exceeding the previous highest case total of 5,000 set on Monday. It also reported all-time high hospitalization and ICU rates. Another all-time daily high was recorded by Florida with 5,511 new cases on Tuesday, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Governor Gavin Newsom imposed stay-at-home orders on all 40 million Californians on March 19 Governor Gavin Newsom imposed stay-at-home orders on all 40 million Californians on March 19 Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JUSTIN SULLIVAN

California and Texas alone accounted for 35% of all the 34,720 new cases in the U.S. reported Tuesday. This total is the third-highest number of new cases reported in one day since the start of the pandemic in January.

The pandemic in the U.S. has worsened since states began hastily reopening their economies starting April. All 50 states have reopened. Of this total, at least 26 are reeling from a rise in cases compared to the previous week, according to from Johns Hopkins University. These states are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urged people to stay home as cases continue to spiral upwards.

"Because the spread is so rampant right now, there's never a reason for you to have to leave your home," Abbott told KBTX. "Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom urged Californians to  "love thy neighbors, like yourself, please." Californians can best do this by wearing masks, keeping a safe distance and increasing handwashing.

The U.S. still leads the world in coronavirus cases and death numbers. It has to deal with 2.46 million cases and mourn more than 124,000 deaths, as of Wednesday evening, according to Worldometer data.

The U.S. has seen its total daily number of cases exceed 30,000 in four out of the last five days. It posted 39,000 new cases on Tuesday and 36,000 cases on Monday. The number of deaths is holding below 1,000 daily.