New York City is setting up checkpoints at bridges and tunnels to help enforce the state’s COVID-19 mandatory two-week quarantine order for people traveling from high infection states, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
“It is required, not optional,” de Blasio said of the quarantine.
One-fifth of all new COVID-19 cases in the city are found in people who have recently traveled from other states, said Dr. Ted Long, head of the city Test & Trace Corps.
The state reported 301 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City on Wednesday for a total of 226,581 in the five boroughs. Of four new deaths from COVID-19 in the state announced Wednesday, one was in the Bronx and one in Brooklyn.
New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito said the checks would be random “to avoid discrimination” and license plate readers would help select the vehicles.
On Thursday, members of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit will be at Penn Station to remind travelers from those states they must complete health forms to help with contact tracing efforts.
According to a “CHECKPOINT FAQ” distributed by the mayor’s office, the stops will last “Just a couple of minutes.”
“Individuals will be asked whether they have spent more than 24 hours in any State on New York’s Restricted State list in the last 14 days,” the document says. “If yes, the individual will be required to complete a New York State Traveler Health Form. The form is available online and can be filled out in advance or at the checkpoint.“
Even if a motorist doesn’t plan to stop in the city and is just passing through, the form is required to be completed if the motorist has been in one of the restricted states for more than 24 hours, the document says.