MAYOR DE BLASIO ANNOUNCES COVID-19 CHECKPOINTS TO ENFORCE NEW YORK STATE QUARANTINE ORDERS
Today, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that COVID-19 Checkpoints would be facilitated at key entry points to the city for the sake of enforcement of the state’s quarantine rules and regulations. Iy would take into consideration travelers on the roads who’ve visited states on New York’s Travel Advisory Watch-list, thus safeguarding the city from any relapse into a Coronavirus health crisis.
After days of repeating himself, ad nauseam, on the subject of a second COVID-19 wave (or rebound, as he would describe it) I questioned Governor Cuomo on the subject of interstate travel. Today, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio indirectly answers my questions through the application of Checkpoints to be instituted at bridges and tunnels – vehicular roadways for these modes of transport into the Big Apple.
With now 35 states on the NY State Travel Advisory Watchlist the Governor’s shown extraordinary concern about a secondary wave of Coronavirus infection entering New York from beyond its borders.
The Governor mandated a process to be carried out at airports enforcing quarantines of individuals arriving in NY from any of the states within its watch-list. Yet, he never addressed the issue he once raised in an interview. That is, interstate commerce – and if not that, then interstate travel at the very least.
Surely, there are New Yorkers who drive to other states for the sake of visiting loved ones just as there are those traveling into New York from afar.
The Governor dodged my question by clarifying that 90% of travel into NY comes through the airports, and that the state has no control over its borders, pure and simple.
Now, we’ve Mayor de Blasio finally raising the issue through the use of checkpoints. Below is City Hall’s official press release.
The Mayor’s words this morning at the end of today’s press conference:
“If you’re someone visiting, we always appreciate when people come to our city. We’re always an open, welcoming city, but I want to say this to any visitor – be as good as New Yorkers, be as devoted to the health of other people as New Yorkers, respect our laws. We have a very clear law that says you must quarantine. If you come here, you must quarantine. It is not optional. We do not want to fine you. We do not want to penalize you. In fact, we want to help you quarantine. But if you don’t respect our laws, we will penalize you because this is about protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers. So, if you come here, please respect what the good people of this city have done. Join us in fighting back this disease. Thank you.”
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced COVID-19 traveler registration checkpoints at key entry points into New York City to ensure compliance with New York State quarantine requirements and further the containment of COVID-19. Travelers who have visited 35 designated states or territories with high COVID-19 transmission rates are required to complete the New York State Department of Health traveler form and quarantine for a period of 14 days upon entering New York City. The DOF Sheriff’s Office, in coordination with other law enforcement agencies, will operate traveler registration checkpoints at major bridge and tunnel crossings into New York City. Starting Thursday, August 6, the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit will begin outreach at Penn Station to educate travelers about New York State home-quarantine orders. Travelers coming in from these states must complete travel health forms to support contact tracing efforts. The City is also partnering with transportation and tourism companies to direct travelers to complete health forms and educate them about quarantine requirements under state law. The City has also added digital signage at points of entry into the City to increase public awareness of New York State’s registration and quarantine mandates.
“New York City is holding the line against COVID-19, and New Yorkers have shown tremendous discipline,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re not going to let our hard work slip away and will continue to do everything we can to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy.”
“The DOF Sheriff’s Office in coordination with other law enforcement agencies will undertake traveler registration checkpoints at major bridge and tunnel crossings into New York City. As Sheriff, I understand the absolute serious nature of this pandemic as well as this decided course of action. The entire team will strive to ensure the deployment balances the critical public health and welfare needs of the residents of the city with the legal protections entitled to all people,” said Sheriff Joseph Fucito.
“The progress we’re seeing across New York City in reducing transmission of COVID-19 is a collective effort by New Yorkers. We’re focused on continuing and building on those efforts by encouraging those who travel to states with a high COVID positivity rate to follow state law and quarantine at home and only leave if its essential,” said NYC Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Dr. Ted Long. “This virus is one that affects all and we want to ensure that we continue on a path to keep all New Yorkers safe through awareness and necessary resources.”
NYC Test & Trace Corps is the City’s comprehensive effort to test, trace, and treat every case of COVID-19. Through a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals, the Corps allows the City to immediately isolate and care for those who test positive for the virus, and then rapidly track, assess, and quarantine anyone they came into contact with who they may have infected.
Non-essential workers subject to the State’s travel quarantine must:
- Stay at their residence or in a hotel room, leaving only for essential medical appointments or treatment or to obtain food and other essential goods when the delivery of food or other essential goods to their residence or hotel is not feasible;
- Not invite or allow guests, other than caregivers, into their quarantined residence or hotel room; and
- Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek appropriate medical advice or testing if COVID-19 symptoms arise.
Essential workers subject to the State’s quarantine must:
- Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing if they show symptoms of COVID-19; and
- Limit their activities involving contact with other persons for fourteen (14) days to the purposes that exempted them from the self-quarantine requirement to the extent possible.
- If staying longer than 36 hours in New York state, seek diagnostic testing for COVID-19 as soon as possible upon arrival (within 24 hours).
Failure to quarantine is a violation of State law, and individuals who fail to quarantine are subject to a $10,000 fine. Individuals who refuse to fill out the New York State Department of Health travel form are subject to a $2,000 fine.
The travel advisory list as of August 5, 2020 includes:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina