AUSTIN, Texas - The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are ordering a mandatory 14-day quarantine on visitors from states with high numbers of COVID-19 cases.
“The infection rate formula will be 10 per 100,000 in a seven day rolling average, or 10% of the total population positive on a seven-day rolling average. So any state that has an infection rate above that would require 14-day quarantine,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during the joint news conference.
As of Wednesday, that list includes Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, Texas.
The three governors aren't messing around when it comes to enforcement.
“If you are violating the quarantine, you can be subject to a judicial order and mandatory quarantine. You could have to pay the costs of quarantine. There are also fines that can go along with violating the quarantine: $2,000 dollars for the first issue, the first violation, $5,000 for the second. Up to $10,000 if you cause harm,” said Cuomo.
For Austinite Deja Miller, whose mother is working as a nurse in New York right now, that's a tough concept. “I feel like it’s a mandatory thing, but I wouldn’t like it, because if I’m flying to go see her, I want to see her right away. I wouldn’t want to wait,” she said.
However, she understands the reason for it. “If I’m a carrier, I don’t want to go to her and I have it and then I gave it to her and then she gives it to her patients. I don’t want that. I don’t want that at all, so I’d rather do the two weeks quarantine and then see her when I get the chance,” said Miller.
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New Yorker Allen Adams said the mandatory quarantine won't stop him from visiting his girlfriend in Texas. “I’m not really nervous about flying back. If I have to quarantine then I just have to quarantine. I’ll kind of just deal with it,” he said.
However, he worries what will happen to others in his situation who can't work from home. “If you can’t get to see your partner, it can lead to other things, depending on the faith that you hold, it could really tear apart relationships,” Adams said.
The quarantine orders for visitors to the tri-state area don't only apply to airline passengers either. Cuomo said police will be stopping cars with out-of-state plates in New York. The governor is also encouraging hotel employees to question guests about their quarantine plans.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.