Tag: outofstate

Pa. adds travel restrictions, but police won’t be pulling over out-of-state drivers

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine issued an order Tuesday that outlined new rules for travelers and strengthened the state’s existing mask mandate to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The latest mitigation efforts include a travel test, requiring travelers to be tested within 72 hours before entering Pennsylvania. Masking orders now call for wearing a face covering indoors at all times away from home, and outdoors if you can’t keep 6 feet from people outside your household.

There was no mention of enforcement of these new requirements, and Levine acknowledged that officials will continue to rely on voluntary compliance and an honor system among residents.

Here’s what we know regarding any potential enforcement:

Flying

The secretary said no one will stop travelers to ask about testing as they get off an airplane.

THE FACTS: Lehigh Valley International Airport posted the secretary’s order on its website Wednesday. Section 2 states the order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 20, and will remain in effect until further notice. It states, “Individuals traveling into and returning to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from any other State or Commonwealth or an international location, must produce evidence of a negative SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) test from a specimen collected within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth, or quarantine for 14 days upon entering.”

Colin Riccobon, spokesman for the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority, referenced Levine’s statement that travelers would not be stopped in the airport. He said an official statement on the travel advisory is expected later Wednesday.

Driving

The secretary said the travel-test order also applies to Pennsylvanians who drive out of the state and return, excluding commutes for work. But don’t expect state or local police to target out-of-state drivers.

THE FACTS: Allentown police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr. said,” Secretary Levine acknowledged that officials are relying on voluntary compliance. Allentown police will not be stopping out-of-state vehicles to inquire about testing.”

Bethlehem police will be taking the same approach.

“Bethlehem police will not be doing anything different than we have been since the start of the pandemic,” said Capt. Keane Knappenberger. “There will not be checkpoints for out-of-state travelers, or door-to-door canvassing to check for gatherings. If we are called to a location, we will be educating the public about social distancing and mask wearing as we have been doing since the beginning.”

State Police enforcement

State police have played a role in enforcement of COVID-19 mitigation requirements, but it’s been limited.

THE FACTS: State Police Liquor Control Enforcement officers continue to visit licensed liquor establishments to ensure businesses are abiding by mitigation requirements that include social distancing, masking and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code. They continue to write warnings and notices of violation, and more information is available on the enforcement page of the state police COVID-19 portal.

While travel is not recommended in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, state police patrols are not stopping vehicles coming from out of state.

“This [concern] came about in the

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D.C., New York and Washington state added to Massachusetts COVID high-risk list for out-of-state travel

Massachusetts added three more regions to its list of high-risk states for COVID-19.

Starting Saturday, people traveling to-and-from the District of Columbia, New York and Washington state will need to quarantine or get tested for coronavirus.

There are 44 states included on the high-risk list as of Saturday.

Gov. Charlie Baker enacted a travel order on August 1 mandating all visitors and residents entering Massachusetts following a high-risk area quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts.

Visitors are urged to obtain a negative result before traveling to Massachusetts.

Failure to comply with the order could result in a $500 fine per day.

Exemptions are allowed for travelers from lower-risk states, people commuting for work or school and patients seeking specialized medical care.

The current list of lower-risk states includes:

  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont

Massachusetts residents are urged to limit any out-of-state travel only to states designated as COVID-19 lower-risk areas.

Anyone arriving from an international destination must fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and must quarantine for 14 days or meet the 72-hour testing rule.

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Connecticut and New Jersey added to Massachusetts COVID high-risk list for out-of-state travel

Massachusetts added two more states to its list of high-risk states for COVID-19.

Starting Saturday, people traveling to-and-from Connecticut and New Jersey will need to quarantine or get tested for coronavirus. Massachusetts was added to the high-risk lists of both states earlier this week.

There are 43 states included on the high-risk list as of Saturday.

Gov. Charlie Baker enacted a travel order on August 1 mandating all visitors and residents entering Massachusetts following a high-risk area quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts.

Visitors are urged to obtain a negative result before traveling to Massachusetts.

Failure to comply with the order could result in a $500 fine per day.

Exemptions are allowed for travelers from lower-risk states, people commuting for work or school and patients seeking specialized medical care.

The current list of lower-risk regions includes:

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Massachusetts residents are urged to limit any out-of-state travel only to states designated as COVID-19 lower-risk areas.

Anyone arriving from an international destination must fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and must quarantine for 14 days or meet the 72-hour testing rule.

State health officials confirmed another 1,488 coronavirus cases on Friday — the highest single-day total since spring.

The seven-day average of positive tests ticked up to 1.9% on Friday, up from a low of .8% just last month.

The number of Massachusetts communities that have seen an average of 8 new daily cases per 100,000 residents increased to 121 on Thursday.

Related Content:

  • Connecticut, New Jersey add Massachusetts to travel advisory due to significant COVID-19 transmission; Travelers from high-risk state must provide negative test or quarantine
  • 1,488 new COVID cases in Massachusetts is the largest single-day report since spring; 23 more deaths

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Avoid out-of-state travel this holiday season

CLOSE

Here’s what you need to know about the worst times to hit the road and what to expect at the airport this holiday season.

USA TODAY

ALBANY – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has a message for fellow New Yorkers: Stay home this holiday season.

The mayor of the nation’s largest city on Tuesday urged residents to simply avoid traveling out of state during the holidays for vacation or to visit family, fearing too much movement could lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases, reports The Journal News, a USA TODAY Network publication. 

“We have a real threat of a second wave here in New York City, and we’ve been fighting it back, but we can’t take it lightly,” the Democratic mayor said at a briefing.

“So, most importantly, I want to recommend to all New Yorkers, it’s not business as usual. I hate to say it, but I have to urge all New Yorkers, do not travel out of state for the holidays.”

New York City was the hardest hit by the virus last spring, with nearly 24,000 confirmed and probable COVID deaths.

But the city and state have been able to lower its deaths and infection rates to among the lowest in the nation due to strong social distancing and mask-wearing requirements, as well as restrictions on businesses.

COVID safety steps in New York

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, greets students as they arrive for in-person classes outside Public School 188 The Island School, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in the Manhattan borough of New York. (Photo: John Minchillo, AP)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo implemented a quarantine plan in June that requires, as of this week, travelers coming from 41 states and territories to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival to New York, including the three most-populous states in the country — California, Florida and Texas.

Cuomo too has urged caution about traveling outside the state, including to neighboring states where infection rates have also grown.

“To the extent travel among the states or between the states is not essential, it should be avoided,” Cuomo said Oct. 20.

Cuomo was asked what he would recommend for Thanksgiving gatherings during an Oct. 15 virtual event to promote his book, where he was interviewed by Bravo TV personality and producer Andy Cohen.

Cuomo told Cohen he would “play it safe” for the holidays.

“I would be safe, I really would,” Cuomo said. “I talked to my mother about it yesterday. I think it’s a mistake to get casual and to get cocky. Look, if everybody got a test within 24 hours, 48 hours, that’s sort of the best you can do. But even that’s not a guarantee because you could have picked it up since you got a test.”

Cuomo said people need to be particularly safe with their elderly relatives.

“Especially for older people, I would be very, very safe” he said. “I know it’s terrible, but I would try to find a way to make

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Massachusetts changes the criteria for its out-of-state travel rules



a sign on the side of a road: Road signs on Interstate 93 in Boston, March 28, 2020.


© Michael Dwyer / AP
Road signs on Interstate 93 in Boston, March 28, 2020.

Massachusetts is loosening the criteria for its out-of-state travel rules, amid an increase in COVID-19 levels within its own borders and in several neighboring states.

The state’s Department of Public Health announced Friday that is relaxing one of the metrics it uses to determine which states are classified as “lower risk,” meaning individuals visiting or returning from those states are not required to self-quarantine for two weeks or have proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.

In a tweet, DPH officials said they were increasing the lower-risk maximum threshold from six daily cases per 100,000 residents to 10 daily cases per 100,000 residents “to bring Massachusetts’s standard more in line with other states.” New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut use the same 10-per-100,000 threshold for their tri-state travel rules.

The other metric used by Massachusetts, a positive test rate below 5 percent, remains unchanged. States must be below both of the thresholds, which are measured on a seven-day rolling average, to be considered lower risk.

After a month of near–weekly changes to the list, DPH officials also announced Friday that they would only move states into the higher-risk category based on two weeks of data, as opposed to one week. However, they said one week will remain the standard for moving states into the lower-risk category. Gov. Charlie Baker has said officials typically review state-by-state COVID-19 data each Wednesday.

The new changes, which take effect Saturday, come after Massachusetts itself, along with several neighboring states, saw COVID-19 incidence rates rise above its own accepted lower-risk threshold of six cases per 100,000 residents.

According to the COVID-19 tracking website used by DPH, as of Friday, the Bay State had a coronavirus rate of 9.5 cases per 100,000 and has been over the six-per-100,000 threshold for about two weeks.

Amid the recent uptick, Baker said Tuesday there was “no question that there will be more cases this fall” as the weather turns colder and Massachusetts ramps up its testing capacity. But he said the previously hard-hit state was more prepared to deal with the disease than it was in the spring and urged residents to remain vigilant.

New York and Connecticut also have seen COVID-19 incidence rates surpass the previous lower-risk threshold, though the positive test rates in all three states have remained close to 1 percent.

The new criteria also means that New Jersey, Hawaii, and Washington state will be re-added to the list of lower-risk states on Saturday. And for the first time, the country’s most populated state, California, will also be designated as lower risk, as DPH announced Friday.



map: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Washington will be classified as lower-risk states under the new criteria Saturday.


© Provided

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Coronavirus: Utah’s vacation hotspots are still seeing out-of-state travel

PARK CITY — Not long after the first case of COVID-19 hit Utah, Summit County, home to the international ski destination Park City, emerged as the state’s hotspot.

And almost a month later, the number of cases per capita in the northern Utah county still rivals some of the hardest hit areas of New York, even after officials enacted a sweeping stay-at-home order that restricted large gatherings and asked out-of-state travelers to stay away.

“It appears to be a fairly common phenomenon in some of the ski towns in the West. And we’re no different,” said Dr. Richard Bullough, Summit County health director. “The data really strongly supports that the first cases that we saw were all travel related.”

Although Bullough said there hasn’t been a travel-related COVID-19 case in Summit County for over a week, his office continues to get calls from concerned residents uneasy about people from across the country coming to wait out the pandemic in Park City.

“I’m really surprised with how many renters I got, probably around the same time Summit County closed,” said Elise St John, whose company St John’s Property Management serves 58 clients in the Park City area.

She said roughly half of her clients who own second homes are in town, which is about average — for a normal year.

“I can see why we’re the hotspot,” she said. “I had a renter coming in from New York, and I didn’t really want to tour the property with him. … They’re supposed to do that 14-day quarantine, but they don’t. It’s kind of crazy.”

St John, who has already had to cut hours for all of her employees, said turning away business would be almost unthinkable. The closure of Utah’s ski areas was a devastating blow to Park City’s real estate and property management industry, which only a month ago was a cornerstone of the resort community. But in the weeks since Park City regressed into a ghost town, St John said three property management companies have reached out, asking if she wanted to buy their clients.

“It was awful,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

As for the companies still admitting renters, St John said there’s a certain amount of guilt that now comes with doing business.

“I really don’t think people want to talk about it,” she told the Deseret News. “And I think it’s kind of weird that they don’t. I mean, this is our small town. It’s definitely something to be concerned about.”

A few miles west of Park City, one vacation hotspot took a big step to combat the potential risks of out-of-state travel.

On April 1, Alta Mayor Harris Sondak issued an emergency proclamation that mandated a 14-day quarantine for all out-of-state travelers upon arrival. Anyone seen violating the order could be charged with a class B misdemeanor.

“As far as I know I have not heard of any reports of a lack of compliance,” said Sondak, who stressed his intent was not

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