This State That Beat COVID Was Just Added to the Travel Quarantine List
After seeing numbers fall and then rise, this New England state is the first to join the quarantine list.
After weeks of coronavirus surges in the Sun Belt states, there appears to be new troublesome spots bubbling up in other surprising regions of the U.S. For example, even the Northeast, which had been widely praised for containing the virus, is beginning to see a rise in COVID-19 cases recently. In fact, one state that had seemingly beat the coronavirus has seen its situation change so quickly that it was just added to the Tri-State area's COVID travel quarantine list: Rhode Island.
There are 34 states on the list, but Rhode Island is the first New England state to have its citizens face restrictions on visiting New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Since the end of June, travelers to the Tri-State area from certain states have been required to quarantine for 14 days to wait out any possibility of spreading of the virus. The list of states has grown as more have met the criteria. The quarantine "applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average"
Unfortunately, Rhode Island is now in that danger zone. On August 3, there were 224 new cases in Rhode Island—that's three times the 75 new cases the state saw on July 29, according to The New York Times. The state had 69 new cases per 100,000 residents in the last week. According to Covid Act Now, Rhode Island currently has a positive test rate of 5.2 percent, but it is rising.
"Our progress in New York is even better than we expected, thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers. Our numbers continue to decline steadily, and for the third straight day in a row, there were no reported deaths in New York City," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said while announcing the addition of Rhode Island to the quarantine list. "But we must protect that progress, which is why today we are adding another state to our travel advisory."
Rhode Island's change in fortune is a stark one from the progress the state made less than a month ago. Previously praised for its ability to control the spread—including going so far as to actively stop vehicles with New York license plates—Rhode Island is now facing rapidly increasing case numbers.
In response to the spike, on July 29, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced that she was delaying her state's reopening plan because people are "partying too much." Raimondo also lowered the maximum size of gatherings in Rhode Island from 25 people to 15.
During her press briefing announcing the change, the governor directly addressed those residents who have been ignoring social distancing guidelines in order to throw and attend parties. "If you're doing this, I need you to knock it off," Raimondo said. "People are getting sick, people are dying, and it's unnecessary." And for more on other places that are seeing spikes, check out Dr. Fauci Says This Is the Sign That a COVID-19 Surge Is Coming.