Cannabis Vaping Summit

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (from left), Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, far right, co-host a regional summit Oct. 17, 2019, on public health issues around cannabis and vaping.

(The Center Square) – Arizona’s snowbirds looking to escape the heat are more likely to be forced into quarantine when returning to their summer homes.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday they would impose a 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors coming from COVID-19 hotspots. In addition to Arizona, they listed Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington state. Cuomo said the list is fluid and based on states with an infection rate of 10 per 100,000; meaning officials could add more.

“We now have to be sure that the rate continues to drop, and that’s what keeps me up at night,” Cuomo said. “We have to make sure that we’re doing everything and we’re diligent and our citizens are diligent. We also have to make sure the virus doesn’t come in on a plane. Learned that lesson.”

Each of the three states will be responsible for enforcing their quarantines, which carry non-compliance penalties. For the first violation of the quarantine, visitors face a $2,000 fine, escalating to $10,000 and court costs. 

Other states have begun imposing quarantine orders for traveling Arizonans. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment updated their list of locations where travelers would need to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in their state to include Arizona. Others would order quarantines based on the rate of infections per capita.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said last Thursday that he was considering a quarantine restriction for Utah and Arizona. 

The restrictions come with a tinge of irony. Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order in April that required travelers from any area with substantial community spread to quarantine, including Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. That expired in May. 

The Arizona Department of Health Services announced Monday the state had 1,795 additional cases of COVID-19, attributing 79 new deaths to the virus. 

Staff Reporter

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois and Arizona government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Central Illinois and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.