Trump is considering ‘enforceable’ quarantine on New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, DC, on March 28, 2020.

Alex Edelman | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump said Saturday that he’s considering placing a short-term quarantine on New York, New Jersey and certain parts of Connecticut as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread. 

“I’m thinking about that right now. We might not have to do it but there’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine,” Trump told reporters at the White House Saturday. “Short-term, two week on New York, probably New Jersey and certain parts of Connecticut.” 

Trump said he would make a decision today whether to enforce a quarantine. He made the remarks en route to the USNS Comfort stationed in Norfolk, a Navy hospital ship headed to New York that will provide an additional 1,000 hospital beds and 1,200 medical personnel.

Trump said he spoke with Florida Gov. Ron Desantis and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this morning about the coronavirus outbreak. He said that Florida is “having problems” with a lot of New Yorkers visiting the state, worsening the spread of infection.

On Monday, Desantis issued an executive order that requires visitors from the New York tri-state area to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from their time of entry to prevent the spread in Florida. The state has seen an increase in travelers from areas that have issued a “shelter-in-place” order, according to the order. 

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo issued a similar executive order on Thursday requiring travelers from New York to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

At a press conference in New York shortly after the conversation, Cuomo said he spoke with Trump Saturday morning but didn’t discuss a potential quarantine on the state. Cuomo said Trump approved four new sites for emergency medical facilities that would add an additional 4,000 hospital beds. 

“I spoke to the president about the ship coming up and the four sites, I didn’t speak to him about any quarantine. No, I haven’t had those conversations,” Cuomo said. 

Trump later clarified at an event at the USNS Comfort that the potential quarantine on the three states would not affect trade. 

“It won’t affect trade in any way,” he said while speaking in front of the hospital ship Comfort. 

Since Friday, 2,289 New Jersey residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 11,124, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. At least 140 people have died in the Garden State from coronavirus, Murphy said. 

As of Friday evening, 23 states across the country have issued stay-at-home orders or advisories that have included the closures of nonessential businesses.

The coronavirus has infected at least 105,573 people in the U.S. and has killed 1,710. 

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