CHICAGO (CBS Chicago/CBS New York) — New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut on Wednesday announced a requirement of 14-day quarantines for people visiting from other states that are seeing spikes in coronavirus cases.
Gov. JB Pritzker said he has no plans for a similar requirement in Illinois, but that could change.
“We’re making decisions based upon the data and the science that we’re provided. Very critically important that states make decisions for themselves about how they want to handle it,” Pritzker said. “That’s not something that we are looking at implementing right now, but going forward, if we got the advice to do that, we might.”
New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut issued the quarantine order in the form of a travel advisory effective midnight Wednesday night local time.
The advisory means that if you travel to the Tri-State Area from a state with a high number of coronavirus cases, you are required to quarantine for 14 days.
A lot of the enforcement for the quarantine relies on personal responsibility, reported CBS 2 New York’s Lisa Rozner. No one at transit hubs in that area is checking IDs of arriving travelers to make sure they’re complying, Rozner reported.
But if you’re caught, the fines are steep.
“You violate the quarantine, you will have to do mandatory quarantine, and you will be fined,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo sent a warning to anyone traveling to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut from states where 10% of those tested for COVID-19 came up positive on a seven day rolling average, or a state where 10 per 100,000 on a seven-day rolling average.
Joined via videoconference by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday, Cuomo said there are currently around 10 states the advisory applies to: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.
As the infection rate changes, the states from which quarantine will be required will also change.
Cuomo said that people in violation of the quarantine could be fined: $2,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second, and up to $10,000 if they cause harm.
If arriving after midnight Wednesday night, they must quarantine for 14 days, or face those fines.
“There were no states that were handed a worse hand, if you will, when this first started,” Cuomo said. “No one else had to accomplish as much as we had to accomplish in such a short period of time. No one else had to bend the curve as much as we had to bend the curve.”
“We now have to make sure the rate continues to drop,” he added. “We also have to make sure the virus doesn’t come in on a plane, again.”
“We live in the densest neighborhood in America. We’ve been clobbered by this virus. No region in the country has paid a bigger price, with the loss of brothers and sisters. We’ve lost just under 13,000 members of our New Jersey family. New York has paid an enormous price. Connecticut has paid a big price as well,” Murphy said. “We have taken our people, the three of us, these three states, through hell and back and the last thing we need to do right now is to subject our folks to another round.”
Cuomo explained how people might get caught.
“You go to a business meeting and somebody says: ‘Didn’t you just come from Florida? Are you from Florida?’ ‘Yes.’ And they drop an email or make a phone call now you have an issue. If you get pulled over by a police officer, ‘Oh, you’re a Florida license, when did you get here?’ You can’t lie because Port Authority has all the records,” he said.
Each state is responsible for its own enforcement, but none of the three states will have police checking licenses at the border, or collecting quarantine addressees from domestic travelers at airports.
As for Illinois, 715 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Wednesday, along with 64 deaths. The seven-day positivity rate as of Wednesday was at 3%, and has been dropping dramatically since May 24 – even with more testing.