Though New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have managed to flatten the Covid-19 curve, the virus is spiking throughout the country. As a result, the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Tri-State’s will begin requiring certain out-of-state residents entering their states to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. The quarantine requirement is for visitors from states where the rate of infection reaches 10 per 100,000 people or 10% of the total population on seven-day rolling averages. Right now, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, and Washington D.C. all exceed those limits. Initially, visitors will self-enforce the restriction. If they do not, stricter measures could be initiated.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority) will require out of state visitors at airports to provide contact information, through forms distributed by airlines, upon arrival at downstate airports. Thus, enhancing the crackdown on people who violate the state’s 14-day quarantine of people coming from states with high levels of infections. An expected executive order will detail a hearing process that would determine whether people who refused to provide such information could be placed into a mandatory quarantine, as well as facing a $2,000 fine.
Unfathomably, the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut rushed to announce a mandatory quarantine for travelers without thinking about truck drivers and other essential personnel. In fact, it took hours between the press conference and the official executive order which included the following: “The Commissioner may issue additional protocols for essential workers, or for other extraordinary circumstances, when a quarantine is not possible, provided such measures continue to safeguard the public health”. Violation of this law is subject to fines up to $10,000.
This is a flimsy, lack of guidance that adds very little clarity to truck drivers and other essential personnel who need to travel through multiple states to do their jobs. This is particularly a slap in the face to the trucking industry by Governor Cuomo. Trucking has heroically been on the front lines during the pandemic, ensuring that hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, and consumers are well supplied. They put their own and their family’s health at risk and the governor has never even publicly thanked them! Furthermore, he cannot even understand the basics of freight movement and how a half-baked travel ban will impact the state and the region. Hopefully, this tri-state pandemic pandering won’t negatively impact regional businesses and consumers.