Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is open to the idea of working with neighboring states to have visitors self-quarantine for two weeks if they are coming from parts of the U.S. with high rates of COVID-19, he said Monday, noting Connecticut cannot take its current low infection and hospitalization rates for granted.
Lamont reiterated his interested in a possible two week self-quarantine for visitors on Tuesday during a news conference about the partial reopening of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, possibly in conjunction with other states in the region, are expected to release details soon about a potential partnership where each would require people from high-COVID states to prove they’ve tested negative in the recent past, or else self-quarantine, Lamont said.
“We are talking about some sort of a regional quarantine. If these folks want to come to the New York metropolitan area, the Boston metropolitan area. Perhaps they should show that they’ve been tested in the very recent past or they should quarantine,” Lamont said. “We’re going to have some guidance on that very, very soon.”
"I am concerned that there's an awful lot of flights into Bradley every day from Florida and that Florida has an infection rate -- a positivity rate -- that is ten times what we are here in Connecticut," Lamont said. "And that's true of a number of other states, like Texas and Arizona as well. So that's why we have been talking with our fellow governors about perhaps a quarantine or a testing protocol before people from a highly infected area come to a less infected area, like Connecticut."
Lamont, who spoke Monday with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo about the concept, said he could envision people who fly into one of the region’s airports being notified of the need to self-quarantine unless they’ve recently tested positive. Although, he acknowledged it might be difficult for people to self-isolate for two weeks, considering they may not be planning to stay that long in the state.
“I see this in Maine and some other states where they’re just requiring the testing coming up,” he said. “I think it makes good sense.”
The governor said Tuesday that the state "will probably be talking with the hotels" about playing a role in the quarantine protocol.
Lamont said potentially people visiting the state who do not want to quarantine could get tested about 72 hours before coming to Connecticut and then show their negative test result at the hotel.
As of Monday, there have been nearly 45,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut, an increase of 27 since Sunday. Lamont said the state’s rate of positive tests is slightly above 1%. So far, there have been 4,263 COVID-associated deaths, an increase of three since Sunday. The number of hospitalizations has declined to 140, nine fewer than on Sunday.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or lead to death.