UPDATED 3:06 PM PT — Wednesday, March 25, 2020
The White House has boosted its efforts to contain the ongoing pandemic with a new focus on travelers from the Big Apple. Top health officials on the coronavirus task force have called on those who are traveling out of New York to take initiative in an effort to slow the spread of the outbreak.
“To everyone who has left New York over the last few days, because of the rate of the number of cases, you may have been exposed before you left,” said Dr. Deborah Birx.
More than half of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have come out of New York, while 30 percent of the fatalities can be traced to the state’s metro area.
According to health experts, it is vital that individuals from the area monitor their well-being and be sensitive to any potential symptoms they may develop. They added that following these presidential guidelines, such as non-essential travel, are critical.
Officials have also warned travelers from New York to quarantine themselves, due to the high risks these individuals might pose to the public.
“We are asking anyone who has traveled out of the NYC metropolitan area to anywhere else in the country to self-isolate for 14 days,” stated Vice President Mike Pence. “We have to deal with the NYC metropolitan area as a high-risk area.”
Health officials went on to express deep concerns over an apparent rise in the number of people fleeing the region. This trend was likely sparked by the region’s large coronavirus caseload and could potentially spread the illness further.
“What we’re seeing now is that, understandably, people want to get out of New York. They’re going to Florida, they’re going to Long Island… If you look at the statistics, it’s disturbing.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
The grim statistic has prompted other states, including Florida, to request those who arrive to self-quarantine for at least 14-days.
Meanwhile, the president continues to work closely with New York officials to mitigate and combat the ongoing pandemic.