President Trump said Saturday evening a mandatory quarantine was "not necessary" for Connecticut, New York and New Jersey and instead would ask the CDC to issue a three-state travel advisory.
Lamont said he thinks the president was "thinking out loud" when he mentioned a mandatory quarantine involving New York, New Jersey and Connecticut earlier Saturday afternoon.
Lamont said to the president "you have to be very careful with what you say."
The state announced there have been 1,524 positive cases of coronavirus in Connecticut with 33 deaths, the Department of Public Health reported Saturday night.
"I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing 'hot spots', New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly," Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon.
Later Saturday night, President Trump tweeted that a quarantine was not necessary and he would instead asking the CDC to issue a "strong Travel Advisory."
Gov. Ned Lamont responded to the president's earlier comments on Saturday afternoon. He said he is worried about the prospect of what a lockdown would look like.
“Regarding the President’s consideration of a quarantine of New York, as well as parts of Connecticut and New Jersey, our state has already called on residents to stay at home," Gov. Ned Lamont said. Further, if interstate travel is absolutely necessary, our state has directed travelers to self-quarantine to prevent against further transmission of the virus. I have been in close communication with Governor Cuomo and Governor Murphy, and I look forward to speaking to the President directly about his comments and any further enforcement actions, because confusion leads to panic.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said on Twitter about the quarantine: "The specifics & impact of this new directive by tweet are unclear & uncertain. The effect may be more confusion than confidence. Gov. Lamont has been strong & effective in his leadership instructing CT’s people to self-quarantine & stay at home if possible. Trump should be consulting with the governors, which evidently he has not done. The governors of CT, NY, & NJ have been ahead of federal authorities in their courageous & steadfast leadership, listening to the advice of scientists, & their insights & input should be heeded."
Attorney General William Tong supported Lamont's comments about the president's quarantine.
"I could not agree more with Governor Lamont—confusion leads to panic and puts people at risk," Tong said. "Our leaders cannot think out loud at moments like this. They must speak with clarity and authority. Off the cuff comments by the President, made without necessary coordination with Governors on the front lines of this crisis—are not helpful. As we have been since day one of this crisis, the Office of the Attorney General is in close coordination with the Governor’s office to support our state efforts to protect public health and safety here in Connecticut.”
"I can't speculate what the president meant by a mandatory quarantine," Lamont said. He said he was hoping for clarity from the White House before the end of Saturday.
"Panic can make the situation worse," Lamont said. "A lack of clarity can make the situation worse."
The key symptoms of the coronavirus, according to the CDC are:
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms can appear in infected persons two to 14 days after exposure.
Coronavirus Prevention Steps
Steps for prevention from the CDC include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, such as to the grocery store
- Coverings should not be placed on children under 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a health care worker
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Steps to Self-Monitor for Coronavirus
Steps to self-monitor from the CDC include:
- Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
- Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
- Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
- Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
If you do get sick with a fever, cough or have trouble breathing, call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and communicate with your doctor about your recent travel.
- If you develop symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
The CDC has a special website set up with details about the coronavirus, including how it spreads and treatment.
Anyone with questions relating to coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or text "CTCOVID" to 898211. The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day.
You can also visit the state's coronavirus information website here. Residents are encouraged to check the website for answers to questions before calling the hotline.