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Late Saturday night, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a 14-day travel advisory for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as reported by The Washington Post. This advisory encourages people who live in the tri-state area to avoid domestic travel. This warning is pertinent to the area for two main reasons. One, we already know that New York, and behind it, New Jersey, is facing a slew of coronavirus cases. Some call it the ‘epicenter’ of the novel coronavirus in the United States so far. Second, because of the infrastructure of those three states and transit options, people often travel between them for work, social engagements, or second homes. Is it too little too late? That’s still unclear.

The CDC’s advisory does not apply to essential workers of “critical infrastructure industries,” which the notice identifies as “trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply” and beyond. The advisory also notes that the governors will have “full discretion” to implement the advisory.

So, what brought this on? Earlier in the day, Trump suggested he was considering a “quarantine” in the area. Of course, he floated this idea on Twitter.

He said similarly to reporters, noting, “Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot. … We might not have to do it, but there’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine, short-term, two weeks on New York. Probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut.” Did the governors of these states have any heads up? Seemingly, no.

As Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal replied on Twitter, it all seemed deeply unclear… Which is far from ideal in a global pandemic.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont expressed a similar sentiment.

“It’s totally opposite everything he’s been saying. I don’t think it is plausible. I don’t think it is legal,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in reference to the quarantine idea in an interview with CNN.

Eventually, Trump tweeted that he asked the CDC for the travel advisory.

“You don’t want to get to the point where you’re enforcing things that would create a bigger difficulty, morale and otherwise, when you can probably accomplish the same goal,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with CNN on Sunday morning.

Several states outside of the tri-state area have already begun trying to discourage how many people visit from out of state. For example, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo issued an order on Friday that would allow police to stop cars (in an effort to get information) with New York license plates. Cuomo has said he will sue over that if Rhode Island doesn’t roll back the order, calling it “unconstitutional.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave a mandatory two-week self-quarantine order for anyone visiting the state from Louisiana. In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker advised any person entering the state to self-quarantine for two weeks and to avoid traveling to the state if they have symptoms.

It’s unlikely we will all get “quarantined,” though the fear and confusion around it is understandable, given how much it’s discussed—and the point that Trump tossed the word out himself. What we can all do, however, is follow CDC and WHO guidelines to the best of our ability, including washing our hands, staying home when possible, and practicing responsible social distancing when we can’t.

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