Rhode Island Governor Reflects on Travel Restrictions at Coronavirus Hot Spots

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo told CNBC Jim Cramer on Wednesday that she is considering measures to enforce quarantine and travel restrictions on visitors to hot spots for emerging coronavirus after three neighboring states imposed security orders. .

The Ocean State, which is the smallest state in the USA. USA By land size, but the second most densely populated state in the country, it can implement plans similar to those of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, where officials will begin on 14 days on Thursday to quarantine travelers from states where the Covid-19 cases are on the rise.

“I am thinking of limiting travel or conducting mandatory testing for people coming from a hot spot or possibly quarantining them,” he said in an interview with “Mad Money.” “I still haven’t decided exactly how to do this because I want it to be practical and enforceable, but you better think I’m concerned about that, because we’ve worked incredibly hard (to contain the outbreak) and I don’t do it.” I don’t want to go backwards. “

The three governors in the tri-state area of ​​New York, once the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, said they would impose restrictions and sometimes fines on travelers from states, most in the South, where Covid-19 infection rates have increased substantially in recent weeks. The orders, which include a two-week self-isolation rule and an initial $ 2,000 fine on arrivals that refuse to adhere to the quarantine measure, so far apply to Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, Carolina. of the South, Utah and Texas.

Quarantine applies to people who come from states where the positivity rate is above 10% on a seven-day moving average.

The tri-state area in March was originally the target of quarantine mandates for travelers from states like Florida and Texas. Now that the new infection rate in the area has dropped, the situation has changed as the virus is spreading in the south and west. The Dow Jones fell more than 700 points in the session on Wednesday when fears about the coronavirus began to weigh again on the shares.

Rhode Island, which was also among the hardest hit states, reopened businesses two months ago after aggressive testing helped the state evaluate more residents per capita than others in an effort to stem the spread of the deadly virus. As of Wednesday, Rhode Island has evaluated more than 20% of its approximately 1 million residents and has achieved a positive test rate of less than 2%, Raimondo said.

More than 16,600 people tested positive for Covid-19 and more than 900 people died of complications in Rhode Island, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The state has 1,568 cases per 100,000 people.

“Very early in this crisis, I took a heavy-handed approach, what some would say. In fact, I used our National Guard to monitor cars entering from other states, including New York, to ask them to quarantine if they came from a place like New York City that was a hot spot, “said the second-term Democratic governor.

Raimondo, who is a venture capitalist, defended those measures, for which he said he received some criticism.

“The truth is, as I said, Rhode Island is the only state in the United States where we’ve examined 20% of the population, hospitalizations are going down, businesses have been open for months, and I have to do everything.” I need to do it. so that trade continues to flow in my state without hospitalizations being overlooked, “he explained.

Raimondo also said that public-private partnerships were part of his state’s efforts to attack the outbreak. Rhode Island worked with Salesforce on contact tracking, CVS Health for coronavirus testing, and Survey Monkey to collect data, among other partnerships.

“Innovation is the reason why Rhode Island is in such an excellent position,” said Raimondo.