Raimondo orders mandatory quarantine for NY travelers

33 new cases of COVID-19 brings state's total to 165

The Rhode Island Department of Health and I are giving today’s update on Rhode Island’s response to Coronavirus.

Posted by Gina Raimondo on Thursday, March 26, 2020

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Governor Gina Raimondo announced today that she will be issuing an executive order requiring travelers to the state from New York to enter a mandatory 14 day self-quarantine.

Raimondo said the National Guard will be stationed at bus stations with interstate service– such as Greyhound and Peter Pan– and the two train stations in the state. Anyone arriving into the state will be required to give identification and contact information.

Additionally, Rhode Island State Police will be pulling over passenger vehicles with New York license plates upon entry in the state. Travelers will be required to tell state troopers where they intend on staying, and provide an ID and contact information.

Rhode Island State Police Col. James Manni said the order will not affect interstate commerce, and tractor-trailer trucks will not be pulled over.

Steven Brown, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island, called the order  an “ill-advised and unconstitutional plan.”

“The ACLU recognizes that strong measures are needed to address the public health crisis we are witnessing,” Brown said in a statment, “but 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. ”

The governor also announced 33 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state-wide total to 165.

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, head of the Rhode Island Department of Health, said 10 of the latest cases were individuals in their 50s. Alexander-Scott said the majority of cases were being found in Providence, but other areas with high population density, such as Warwick and Cranston, were also seeing a spike.

Alexander-Scott acknowledged this number was not reflective of the actual numbers of cases in the state, as tests were still being prioritized for healthcare workers and those considered high-risk for the virus.

Raimondo said she would not consider opening the state’s businesses back up until Rhode Island had a more wide-spread testing capability– setting 1,000 tests per day as the minimum goal.

The governor said there were “many pieces to this puzzle”- including finding the necessary protective equipment, swabs, and lab equipment to process the results.

©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020



Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island