New Yorkers Urged Not to Travel, Suggested to Self-Quarantine if They Have Left the State, WH Task Force Says

Coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force advised that residents who have left the state of New York should self-quarantine for two weeks during Tuesday's news briefing.

"To everyone who has left New York over the last few days because of the rate of the number of cases," Birx said, "you may have been exposed before you left New York."

"I think like [Florida] Governor [Ron] DeSantis has put out today everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn't spread to others no matter where they have gone, whether it's Florida, North Carolina or out to far reaches of Long Island," Birx continued.

Newsweek reached out to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office for comment.

Birx noted that the self-quarantine time was based on when the individuals left New York. "So, if they already are four days out then it's just ten more days," Birx said.

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Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House coronavirus task force advised on Tuesday that New Yorkers who have left the state should self-quarantine for 14 days to limit community spread of the virus. Riccardo Savi/Getty

Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said during the briefing that statistics among New Yorkers are "disturbing."

"About one per 1,000 of those individuals are infected," Fauci said. "That's about eight to ten times more than in other areas which means when they go to another place, for their own safety, they've got to be careful."

Florida Governor DeSantis said during a Tuesday briefing that Florida has "a lot of interaction back and forth" with New York and the surrounding area.

DeSantis issued an executive order Monday directing air travelers from Connecticut, New Jersey and New York who have entered Florida over the past three weeks to "isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person's presence in Florida, whichever is shorter."

Violation of the executive order will result in 60 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.

"I think it's unfair," DeSantis said Tuesday. "People are told to stay in their homes, and they're following the rules, and yet you have folks coming from the hottest of the hot zones filtering out into the United States."

On Sunday, DeSantis wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to declare a major disaster in Florida. Among other things, DeSantis cited the lack of medical facilities and equipment to handle the coronavirus outbreak in his state.

"The process of triaging and isolating potentially affected individuals is significantly disrupting lifesaving and life-sustaining services," DeSantis wrote. "Additionally, the insufficient medical resources and capacities of medical facilities, and the already limited number of qualified medical personnel will only continue to rapidly deplete as the impacts of COVID-19 continue to spread."

Recent data indicated 1,412 total confirmed cases in Florida with 18 residents dying as a result of the disease.

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A graphic provided by Statista shows the global spread of the new coronavirus as of March 24. More than 400,000 have been afflicted, over 100,000 of whom have recovered and over 18,000 of whom have died. Statista

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.