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The Democratic governors of California, Oregon, and Washington issued travel advisories on Friday morning asking people visiting or returning home from outside those states to self-quarantine for 14 days to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million COVID-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians. Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”
The recommendations advise against non-essential out-of-state travel and encourage people to “limit their interactions to their immediate household,” a press release from Gov. Newsom’s office says.
California, Oregon & Washington Issue Travel Advisories – new press release from California Governor:https://t.co/XTwF06ynzF
Primary source document: https://t.co/DUiS8BlqUS
It asks you to stay home (or in your region) & avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries.
— Kevin Dayton (@DaytonPubPolicy) November 13, 2020
According to the advisories, “essential travel” is defined as “travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.”
“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”
The move comes as the United States recorded more than 160,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday – a new single-day record. According to The Washington Post, “it was the seventh time in nine days that the reported U.S. infections reached new heights.”
The New York Times reports:
Case numbers are trending upward in 46 states and holding relatively steady in four. No state is seeing cases decline. Thirty-one states – from Alaska and Idaho in the West to Connecticut and New Hampshire in the East – added more cases in the seven-day period ending Wednesday than in any previous week of the pandemic. Vermont, Utah and Oregon were among at least 10 states with single-day case records on Thursday.
“COVID-19 cases have doubled in Washington over the past two weeks. This puts our state in as dangerous a position today as we were in March,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee. “Limiting and reducing travel is one way to reduce the further spread of the disease. I am happy to partner with California and Oregon in this effort to help protect lives up and down the West Coast.”
In April, the leaders of the three West Coast states announced they had united “on a shared vision for reopening their economies and controlling COVID-19 into the future.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, widely considered the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has recommended wearing face coverings at upcoming Thanksgiving gatherings.