By Paul Hughes, Republican-American
HARTFORD — Travelers from nearly half of the United States are now being directed to self-quarantine upon arrival in Connecticut as coronavirus cases surge across the country.
One state was dropped and four more states were added Tuesday to a tri-state watch list for Connecticut, New York and New Jersey based on levels of coronavirus transmission, bringing the total number of affected states to 22.
The weekly update was released a day after Gov. Ned Lamont announced air travelers to Connecticut will be required to fill out a form reporting where they will be staying, explaining how they will be quarantining and identifying all their traveling companions.
“We’re working on that certification process in terms of folks flying in from these infected states. We’re going to have that up within a week,” Lamont said.
The tri-state travel advisory applies to travelers from states that either have a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a positivity rate higher than 10% over a rolling seven-day average.
Residents of Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin are now subject to the regional policy that directs visitors to Connecticut, New York and New Jersey to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in any of the states.
The state of Delaware was removed from the watch list after being added last week.
Nine states have been listed since the inception of the travel advisory three weeks ago: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington.
The Connecticut policy exempts travelers if they have had a negative viral test for COVID-19 in the 72 hours before traveling here. Antibody tests are not acceptable.
Lamont said the expanded list reflects the continuing spread of coronavirus disease in parts of the U.S.
“It gives you a sense that the rate of infection continues to expand,” he said. “Our metrics are pretty clear — 10%. We’re down below to 1%, but these are states that are testing 10% positive of everybody out there.”
There have been 47,530 cases of COVID-19 reported in Connecticut. Another 20 were announced Tuesday, but several large testing laboratories had delays in reporting test results. The delayed results will be reported in subsequent daily counts.
The Department of Public Health received 2,447 more test results. There have been 589,772 tests done to date.
There was one more coronavirus-associated fatality reported since Monday. The death toll stood at 4,372.
Locally, the Naugatuck Valley Health District reported Tuesday there have been 388 confirmed cases in Naugatuck and 56 in Beacon Falls. There have been 37 confirmed deaths associated with coronavirus and three probable deaths in Naugatuck, according to the health district, and none in Beacon Falls.
On Monday, the Chesprocott Health District reported there have been 72 cases in Prospect and no coronavirus-related deaths in town.
In New York, travelers who refuse to fill out a form could face a fine of up to $2,000, and anyone who violates a quarantine order could face a $10,000 penalty. Lamont and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy are not doing the same in their states.
“We’re not looking at fines at this point,” Lamont said.
Instead, Connecticut and New Jersey are expecting travelers from listed states to voluntarily comply.
“I think people will self-regulate, but we are going to watch that carefully,” Lamont said.
Elio Gugliotti contributed to this report.