Coming to NJ from a hot spot state? You'll be asked to fill out survey starting Monday
It's quiet at Newark Liberty International Airport, where the effects of coronavirus prevention measures are plain to see. NorthJersey.com
Travelers flying into New Jersey from so-called hot spot states where coronavirus is spiking will be asked to fill out a survey starting Monday.
The announcement came from state health Commissioner Judith Persichilli on Friday, more than three weeks after Gov. Phil Murphy joined his counterparts in New York and Connecticut to announce a mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors arriving from states with high numbers of positive cases.
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"The airlines will make an announcement about the travel advisory on impacted states and the survey at the point of departure and in-flight while en route to New Jersey," Persichilli said. "Travelers will be connected to an electronic survey that will collect information about where they are traveling from, their residence and their destination."
Here's how it will work:
- Travelers will be able to fill out the survey a number of ways, including by texting "NJTRAVEL" to the number 898211; visiting the website covid19.nj.gov/njtravel; or scanning a QR code on a smartphone that will appear on posters that will be on display at airports.
- "The information will be submitted to the county health departments once the health department receives the traveler’s info. We are asking them to call the traveler to remind them of the request to self-quarantine," Persichilli said.
- Among the things county health department officials will talk to travelers about is "to make sure that they know where to go for testing if needed and ascertain if they have any other needs related to self-quarantine," she added.
Consistent with Murphy's prior comments about the self-quarantine, the survey is "voluntary but compliance is expected," Persichilli said.
"It is relying on personal accountability. Individuals should leave the place of quarantine only to seek medical care treatment or to obtain food and other essential items," she said. "It is vital that individuals traveling from heavily impacted states cooperate so we can avoid creating community outbreaks in our state."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, meanwhile, took a quicker and different approach.
Within a week, the New York Department of Health had representatives at six of the state's airports providing information to customers, distributed forms to airlines to hand out to travelers, and this week Cuomo said a fine of up to $2,000 could be issued for those who do not comply with self-quarantining.
Murphy said earlier this week that the three states executing the self-quarantine policy are doing so "specific to our own constitution and our own realities in our respective states."
As of today, there are 22 states on the hot spot list. It includes those where COVID-19 test rates are higher than 10 positive cases per 100,000 residents or a state with a higher than 10% positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average. Those who test negative can end their quarantine early and there are exemptions for certain workers.
Colleen Wilson covers the Port Authority and NJ Transit for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to her work covering the region’s transportation systems and how they affect your commute, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.