New Jersey added 10 states and removed one from its coronavirus quarantine travel advisory on Tuesday, bringing the list to 31 states that qualify as COVID-19 hotspots.
People traveling from those states — including New Jersey residents returning home — are being asked to voluntarily self-quarantine for two weeks and to seek a coronavirus test in an effort to prevent a resurgence in New Jersey, which was among the hardest hit states at the onset of the U.S. outbreak in March and April.
Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington were added this week, while Minnesota was removed. Delaware returned to the list after being dropped last week.
New Jersey has the fifth most total positive tests after New York, California, Florida and Texas, and the second most deaths. But the number of new cases, deaths, and hospitalizations in New Jersey remains relatively stable in recent weeks after falling significantly from the outbreak peak in April.
New cases, however, continue to surge throughout the country – particularly in states that opted to reopen businesses earlier. The United States has averaged more than 66,000 new cases per day over the last week, according to a New York Times tracker.
New Jersey reported 177 new cases on Monday bringing the total to 176,983. New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York jointly announced the quarantine plan last month.
“In order to prevent additional outbreaks across New Jersey and continue with our responsible restart and recovery process, I strongly encourage all individuals arriving from these hotspot states to proactively get a COVID-19 test and self-quarantine,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement Tuesday.
This marks the fourth consecutive week the list of quarantine states has expanded.
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The full list now includes:
Alabama (added 6/24/20)Alaska (added 7/21/20)Arkansas (added 6/24/20)Arizona (added 6/24/20)California (added 6/30/20)Delaware (re-added 7/21/20)Florida (added 6/24/20)Georgia (added 6/30/20)Iowa (added 6/30/20)Idaho (added 6/30/20)Indiana (added 7/21/20)Kansas (added 7/7/20)Louisiana (added 6/30/20)Maryland (added 7/21/20)Mississippi (added 6/30/20)Missouri (added 7/21/20)Montana (added 7/21/20)Nebraska (added 7/21/20)Nevada (added 6/30/20)New Mexico (added 7/14/20)North Carolina (added 6/24/20)North Dakota (added 7/21/20)Ohio (added 7/14/20)Oklahoma (added 7/7/20)South Carolina (added 6/24/20)Tennessee (added 6/30/20)Texas (added 6/24/20)Utah (added 6/24/20)Virginia (added 7/21/20)Washington (added 7/21/20)Wisconsin (added 7/14/20)
The quarantine applies to any state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
Unlike in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said first-time offenders face big fines, Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey is taking more of a public awareness approach, “but the execution is up to us in the state.”
People flying into New Jersey are now being asked to fill out an electronic survey that asks travelers for their hometown, where they traveled from and their destination. The information is sent to county health departments, who will then call the traveler to request them to self-quarantine and explain where they can be tested for COVID-19.
Travelers can access the survey by texting “NJ Travel” to 898211, visiting covid19.nj.gov/njtravel, or scanning a QR code on posters at airports.
On Monday, Murphy announced the death toll increased to 15,715 confirmed and probable fatalities with nine new deaths confirmed in the last 24 hours. Two of those deaths occurred in June and seven were in the last three days.
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