Fifteen states are requiring people from COVID-19 hot spots to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival

By Julie Mazziotta
August 05, 2020 01:40 PM
Advertisement
Martin Schwartz/PEOPLE.

With much of the U.S. still seeing high numbers of new COVID-19 infections and many Americans attempting to salvage their summer vacations, some states have enacted quarantine requirements to keep out-of-state travelers from bringing in the virus.

Fifteen states — Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont — and the city of Chicago currently require travelers from virus hot spots to quarantine for 14 days, meaning they cannot go out to public spaces and must stay at home until the two-week period is up.

Another three states — New Hampshire, South Carolina and Wisconsin — have suggested quarantines, but do not require them.

The rest of the country does not have restrictions on out-of-state travelers.

The states that require quarantines have varying lists of who should stay home. Connecticut, New Jersey and New York — which enacted joint quarantine requirements — are the most restrictive, requiring travelers from 34 states along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to quarantine for 14 days if they stay in one of the three states for more than 24 hours.

People who come through Tri-State airports must sign a health form agreeing to the quarantine, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that the city will set up checkpoints at bridges and tunnels and randomly stop vehicles to remind them of the quarantine mandate.

Florida was one of the first states to require out-of-state travelers to quarantine back on March 24, when Gov. Ron DeSantis said people from Connecticut, New Jersey and New York — the site of the U.S.’s first major COVID-19 outbreak — had to stay inside for 14 days upon arrival. Two months later, though, Florida’s case numbers soared upwards, surpassing New York’s, and they were placed on the Tri-State Area’s quarantine list. Florida, however, has still extended its quarantine requirement for the three states through Sept. 5.

States with quarantine policies hope that by requiring a 14-day quarantine — the maximum time it typically takes to develop COVID-19 symptoms — they reduce the risk of infection among their citizens.

“We worked very hard to get the viral transmission rate down. We don’t want to see it go up because a lot of people come into this region and they can literally bring the infection with them,” New York Gov. Cuomo said during a press conference with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on June 24. “Because what happens in New York happens in New Jersey and happens in Connecticut.”

For the Tri-State Area, the states on their quarantine list are any that have a seven-day rolling average of positive tests above 10 percent, or a number of positive cases exceeding 10 per 100,000 residents.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 4,778,800 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 157,302 people have died. After two months of soaring new infections in the U.S., the daily totals are beginning to decrease slightly and the average number of new infections over the last seven days is 58,820, a decline of 11 percent, according to The New York Times. However, the number of deaths is on the rise.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.