On Wednesday, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced that on Thursday, the city will be setting up checkpoints at tunnels and bridges to find travelers from 35 COVID hotspot states; if it’s discovered that they have come from one of those states, they will be told to quarantine. Every sixth or eighth car will be checked.
De Blasio threatened a $10,000 fine if visitors from those states do not self-isolate for 14 days. The 35 states include: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
“De Blasio failed to explain how police or contact tracers would enforce the quarantine beyond asking them to fill out a form … the form has up until now only been forced on people on planes,” the Daily Mail noted.
“We’ve got 35 states now that have dangerously high infection rates. There’s a lot to be concerned about. What we need to do is do everything that we have learned to do in New York City and do that right, do that consistently, but also we have to focus on people coming in from outside New York City,” de Blasio stated.
“This is serious stuff, and it’s time for everyone to realize it,” the mayor added. “If we’re gonna hold at this level of health and safety in this city and get better, we have to deal with the fact that the quarantine must be applied consistently to anyone who’s travelled. So this checkpoint effort is going to be a new, important piece of that.”
“The Sheriff’s Office in coordination with other law enforcement agencies will undertake quarantine checkpoints at major bridge and tunnel crossings into New York City,” Sheriff Joseph Fucito added. “As Sheriff, I understand the absolute serious nature of this pandemic. … The entire team will strive to ensure that the deployment balances the critical public health and welfare needs of the residents of the city with the legal protections entitled to all people.”
The City of New York website states the rules for “non-essential” and “essential workers”:
- Stay at their residence or in a hotel room, leaving only for essential medical appointments or treatment or to obtain food and other essential goods when the delivery of food or other essential goods to their residence or hotel is not feasible;
- Not invite or allow guests, other than caregivers, into their quarantined residence or hotel room; and
- Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek appropriate medical advice or testing if COVID-19 symptoms arise.
- Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing if they show symptoms of COVID-19; and
- Limit their activities involving contact with other persons for fourteen (14) days to the purposes that exempted them from the self-quarantine requirement to the extent possible.
- If staying longer than 36 hours in New York state, seek diagnostic testing for COVID-19 as soon as possible upon arrival (within 24 hours)
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