National Guard will go door-to-door to make sure New Yorkers quarantine
RHODE ISLAND (WLNE) – Governor Gina Raimondo is ordering all New York residents coming to Rhode Island during the coronavirus pandemic to quarantine for two weeks once they get into the Ocean State.
“If you want to seek refuge in Rhode Island you must be quarantined,” said Raimondo.
On Thursday, the governor announced State Police will pull over any drivers with New York license plates to make sure they quarantine if necessary.
“We know New York is a hot spot,” said the governor.
On Friday, she doubled down on the order and announced members of the National Guard will be going door-to-door in coastal communities starting Saturday to make sure New Yorkers are following the guidelines.
“This is the law. It’s not a suggestion. This is going to save lives and that’s why we’re doing it,” said Raimondo.
She said her team has an idea of where most New York residents will be staying– either in rentals or summer homes.
Some residents in coastal communities said they won’t mind the National Guard in town, and support the governor’s decision.
“I think they should guard against somebody bringing that from New York into Rhode Island,” said John T. Smith of Newport.
Others think it is a violation of civil liberties.
“It could cause a profiling situation,” said Mark Gonsalves of Newport.
The executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island, Steven Brown, echoed a similar concern.
“Giving the State Police the power to stop any New York-registered cars that are merely traveling through the state is a blunderbuss approach that cannot be justified in light of its substantial impact on civil liberties,” said Brown in a statement.
Raimondo said she respected Brown’s view on the situation.
“Under a normal set of circumstances I would not be choosing to make this decision. Having said that, this is a state of emergency,” said Raimondo.
Those who do not follow the governor’s orders could face a fine and even jail time.