New York state announced Wednesday that it will begin requiring travelers from eight states where the number of coronavirus cases will increase to quarantine for 14 days. The new measure highlights New York visitors and residents arriving from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. Neighbors in New Jersey and Connecticut are suggesting quarantine for people arriving from the worst-hit states, but acknowledged they don’t have a compliance mechanism to compel compliance. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo says that lack of quarantine is punishable by fines that could reach thousands of dollars.
The move comes as the United States recorded its highest daily total of new coronavirus cases with 36,880 new cases nationwide on Wednesday. Cases of the virus are now increasing in 20 states; Four states on the New York quarantine list posted their one-day highs in new cases: Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. The New York quarantine requirement applies to states that are testing positive for coronavirus at a rate greater than 10 per 100,000 residents, either in a single day or above a seven-day moving average. New York is not the only state suggesting quarantine for travelers, but most so far have not designated certain states for further examination; only several states, Maine, Rhode Island, and Hawaii, have made quarantine mandatory upon arrival of the state.
Amid growing concern over the continuing rise in infection rates, President Donald Trump announced that he would still travel to his club in Bedminster, New Jersey this weekend and that he would not be quarantined despite the new order from the state. Trump has recently held events in Oklahoma and Arizona and travels with a large entourage of security and aides. “The President of the United States is not a civilian,” a White House spokesman said of Trump’s refusal to quarantine. “Anyone traveling in support of the president this weekend will be closely monitored for symptoms and given a COVID test and therefore poses little or no risk to local populations.” At least eight members of the Trump team working at the president’s rally in Tulsa last weekend tested positive.