My home state of Texas is now requiring airline passengers arriving from the New York area or New Orleans to self-quarantine and threatening that troopers will check up on people. If you arrive in the state on a connecting flight or by car, though, this doesn’t apply to you.
Rhode Island is allowing no such loopholes in their new ban on New Yorkers seeking refuge in the state. The U.S. now has over 112,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, nearly 40% more than China has reported. And half of all U.S. cases are in New York and New Jersey.
Police in Rhode Island are now stopping cars with New York license plates and the state’s National Guard is conducting house-to-house searches to find New Yorkers and impose a 14 day quarantine. According to the Governor of the state, their “risk is called New York City.”
National Guard members will be stationed at the T.F. Green airport, Amtrak train stations and at bus stops. The citizen-soldiers will be following up with people at local residences. The maximum penalty for not complying: a fine of $500 and 90 days in prison.
…Just before 1 p.m. Friday, state police were set up on Interstate 95 northbound, at the rest stop closest to the Connecticut border. A mile or two before that, motorists could see signs ordering all New York passenger vehicles to pull over at the rest stop.
The governor says she can’t legally close the border, but can enforce a quarantine, currently set to run through at least April 25 but excluding health and safety workers. The Rhode Island ACLU says a New York license plate cannot be the basis of a traffic stop.