The state of New York announced Wednesday it will begin requiring travelers from eight states where the number of coronavirus cases is surging to quarantine for 14 days. The new measure singles out visitors and New York residents arriving from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut are suggesting a quarantine for people who are arriving from the hard-hit states, but acknowledged they do not have an enforcement mechanism to compel compliance. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a failure to quarantine is punishable by fines that could run into the 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 Wednesday. Cases of the virus are now rising in 20 states; four states on New York’s quarantine list recorded their single-day highs in new cases: Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. The New York quarantine requirement applies to states that are recording positive coronavirus tests at a rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, either in a single day or over a seven-day rolling average. New York is not the only state to suggest travelers quarantine, but most have so far not singled out certain states for extra screening; only several states—Maine, Rhode Island, and Hawaii—have made quarantining mandatory upon arrival from out of state.
Amid growing concern about the continually rising rates of infection, President Donald Trump announced he would still be traveling to his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, this weekend and will not quarantine despite the state’s new order. Trump has recently held events in Oklahoma and Arizona and travels with a large entourage of aides and security. “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 tested for COVID and therefore pose little to no risk to the local populations.” At least eight members of the Trump team working the president’s rally in Tulsa last weekend have tested positive.