Coastal towns tell out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine

THE CITY of Newport is telling out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine themselves for two weeks after arrival, particularly from areas hard-hit by the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19./R.I. DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM.
THE CITY of Newport is telling out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine themselves for two weeks after arrival, particularly from areas hard-hit by the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19./R.I. DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM.

NEWPORT Coastal towns that have a large number of second homes are increasingly asking or ordering out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine after arrival for 14 days and monitor themselves for signs of infection with the new coronavirus.

The actions come after local residents have noticed that people are arriving from out-of-state, particularly coming from areas that have had more cases of the virus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease.

Newport has directed out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine, in particular people coming from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. All of those states have had greater numbers of people than Rhode Island infected with the infectious virus that causes COVID-19.

In a news release issued Tuesday, Newport stated: “With a large population of seasonal and part-time residents, we are acutely aware of the potential for community spread associated with interstate travel. Anyone who is visiting or residing temporarily in Newport from locations with a ‘shelter in place’ order in effect are asked to place themselves in self-quarantine for a period of two weeks and to monitor themselves daily for any flu-like symptoms, including fever, nausea, body aches and sore throats or coughs.”

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City spokesman Tom Shevlin said the action came after the White House told people who leave New York City that they should quarantine themselves. And people in Newport starting noticing many more out-of-state licenses on cars in town, he said. The city has a number of seasonal residents.

“Over the weekend we certainly saw more out-of-state plates than we would normally see on a weekend in March,” Shevlin said.

Newport is among many communities moving to isolate people who are newly arrived from areas with greater infection rates.

The town of New Shoreham has already told its residents to stay inside, except for essential travel, until April 15.

The towns of Middletown, Portsmouth and Westerly on Tuesday issued notices, either on their websites or through social media, asking out-of-state visitors to quarantine themselves.

Gov. Gina M. Raimondo and public health officials on Tuesday announced that people flying into Rhode Island from out-of-state should quarantine themselves for two weeks, but they did not extend that directive to people arriving by auto.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at macdonald@pbn.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryF_MacDonald.

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