Rhode Island Is Clamping Down on Those Leaving New York Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Major Cities In The U.S. Adjust To Restrictive Coronavirus Measures
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: An NYPD police officer is seen wearing a protective face mask as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States on March 27, 2020 in New York City. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) Noam Galai/Getty

Rhode Island's government is clamping down on those leaving New York to find refuge in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bloomberg News reported Friday that Rhode Island state police could be seen checking for New York license plated cars driving northbound on the Interstate-95 near the Connecticut border. There were also visible signs on the highway ordering New Yorkers to pull over at the rest stop.

Governor Gina Raimondo reiterated Friday at her daily coronavirus press briefing an executive order announced the previous day that "anyone returning to Rhode Island after traveling from New York to Rhode Island by any mode of transportation ... must be in quarantine for 14 days."

"That is a law, it comes with penalties. It is not a suggestion. I also would like to remind people that we have members of the National Guard stationed every day all day at T.F. Green [Airport], at Amtrak train stations, at bus stops, collecting information from you when you get off, so we can put you in our contact tracing system and you are hereby ordered into quarantine for 14 days."

Raimondo also announced that beginning Saturday the National Guard would be making door-to-door stops to find New Yorkers.

"We really doing our best to target those homes where we know people are likely to have come from New York. We have a good sense of which are rental properties, which are second homes, and we will be knocking on the door and asking folks for their contact information, providing them with the order that they must remain in quarantine for 14 days if they have come from New York state," Raimondo said.

Newsweek reached out to the governor's office Saturday for comment, but it did not respond in time for publication.

Rhode Island has 203 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the state and only 28 hospitalizations, according to the state's Department of Health website. New York, which is roughly 145 miles away from Rhode Island, is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic within the United States. The Empire State has 44,635 confirmed cases and 535 deaths, according to its government website.

"Right now, we have a pin pointed risk that we need to address and we need to be serious. That risk is called New York City," Raimondo said during her Friday press briefing. "In light of that risk and in light of the fact that folks from New York present a different kind of danger to the people of Rhode Island, we are going to take a more aggressive approach for the foreseeable future as it relates to people coming to Rhode Island from New York."