Forget NJ’s quarantine list. Just don’t travel, Murphy says
Forget New Jersey's lengthy travel advisory quarantine list. Just don't travel, if you can avoid it, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.
For months, New Jersey and other states have been maintaining a list of states they say people should avoid because of the high spread of coronavirus — urging that trips to those states trigger a 14-day quarantine for any travelers or returning residents coming into New Jersey.
But as coroanvirus cases continued to spread through the nation, the list has grown to include, well, practically everywhere in the United States. Its criteria — an average daily number of new cases higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period, or 0% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day period — encompasses the majority of the country, including New Jersey itself.
As of Tuesday, 45 states and two U.S. territories were on the list (with the Virgin Islands being re-added that day). Murphy and other state health officials have said it doesn't apply to workers commuting to neighboring states, but urges employers to let staff work from home when possible.
Murphy said in a statement Wednesday New Jersey "will no longer utilize previously outlined metrics to inform its travel advisory."
"Given the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 for both residents who travel outside the state and for visitors into the state, New Jersey continues to strongly discourage all non-essential interstate travel at this time," he said.
Anyone coming from beyond the immediate region should self-quarantine for 14 days, Murphy said — adding more detailed guidance would be coming in the days ahead.
The updated language — from a governor who has urged New Jersey and to avoid Thanksgiving celebrations, or at least keep them small — comes as more than than 3 million people were screened at U.S. airports on Friday and Saturday, making for the busiest air travel weekend since mid-March, the Associated Press reports. But travel has nonetheless taken a big dip since the same time last year — down about 57 percent, according to the AP.