(NEW YORK) — The governor of Rhode Island is taking extreme measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in her state by sending law enforcement officers door-to-door to quarantine New York residents.
The effort is to stop the spread of the coronavirus to Rhode Island residents by people who were in the epicenter of the viral disease. The number of confirmed cases in the Ocean State reached over 200 as of Friday which pales in comparison to the over 26,000 in New York City.
“This is an emergency,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo on Friday where she specified the 14-day quarantine to people traveling from New York to Rhode Island. “That’s a law. That’s an order. It comes with penalties. It’s not a suggestion.”
The 14-day quarantine is part of guidelines by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Raimondo made the announcement at a press conference saying that the National Guard will seek out people who are believed to have traveled from the Big Apple to shore rental homes. The troops are expected to enforce the 14-day quarantine by collecting contact information from people entering the state from all modes of transportation.
The state police are going to monitor the highways by the Newport Bridge and will pull over cars with New York plates, said Raimondo. The officers will ask for the occupants of the vehicle for their contact information and order them into quarantine if they intend to stay.
“What is constitutional in one scenario is different than in another. This is pinpointed, this is targeted, this is a state of emergency, this is limited in time, and it’s going to be enforced in a respectful way,” said Raimondo. “And it’s a public health necessity.”
Violators are subject to a fine at first and prison time on subsequent offenses.
Raimondo is not the only governor calling for targeted state residents to abide by the quarantine order.
The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, signed an executive order to mandate travelers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut to self-quarantine for 14-days once they arrive. He has since extended the order to include Louisiana as their number of coronavirus patients are rapidly increasing.
Fines and criminal charges are also a threat for violators of DeSantis’ order.
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