Rhode Island governor mandates self-quarantine for travelers from New York

Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said Thursday she is “mandating, not suggesting,” a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone traveling to her state from New York in the latest clampdown on domestic travel amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The executive order — effective immediately — also applies to anyone who has traveled to New York in the last 14 days.

“This is unusual,” Raimondo said of the plan to execute the mandate. “This is radical.”

Her order reflects a growing concern among state leaders across the country about travelers coming from New York, where the outbreak has surged.

The governor said she plans to station members of the National Guard at bus terminals and train stations and will require anyone arriving from New York to check in and give the guardsmen and women their contact information. State police have been instructed to flag down cars with New York state license plates as they come into Rhode Island.

Raimondo said the state has added 33 cases of the virus since Wednesday, bringing its total to 165.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a similar executive order earlier this week mandating a 14-day self-quarantine or isolation period for travelers coming to Florida from airports in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Explaining the move at a news conference Monday, DeSantis, a Republican, said, “Today there’s over 190 direct flights from the New York City area to the state of Florida, and I would reckon, given the outbreak there, that every single flight has somebody on it who’s positive for Covid-19.”

Earlier this week, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, urged anyone who has recently left New York to self-quarantine for 14 days in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

“To everyone who has left New York over the last few days, because of the rate of the number of cases, you may have been exposed before you left New York,” Birx said.

“No matter where they have gone, whether it’s Florida or North Carolina or out to the far reaches of Long Island,” she added.