Murphy shoots down prospect of fining travelers to NJ

24 Jul 2020 | 11:50

New Jersey. (AP) New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on July 14 shot down the prospect of fining travelers from COVID-19 hot spots if they don’t provide contact information to health officials. The first-term Democrat spoke about the new proposal made the day before by fellow Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would impose such a fine. “New York and New Jersey do things a little bit differently,’’ Murphy said during a radio interview on 104.3-FM. “I don’t know that we will be fining people.” New Jersey joined New York and Connecticut last month in advising travelers from states with outbreaks that they’ll need to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. On July 14, Murphy and his fellow governors announced that four states were being added to the list of 19 states. They are Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin. Delaware was removed from the list, Murphy said. The advisory includes states if their seven day rolling average of positive tests exceeds 10%, or if the number of positive cases exceeds 10 per 100,000 residents. New York’s policy says airport travelers from those states face a $2,000 fine if they leave the airport without filling out a contact tracing form. Impacted travelers could face a hearing and an order requiring mandatory quarantine, under a new state emergency health order issued on July 13. Murphy has said he lacks the constitutional authority to block travelers from coming to the state. Instead, he has called for people to behave responsibly. The governor also reported July 14 there were some 400 new positive cases documented overnight, bringing the total to roughly 176,000. The death toll climbed by 28, he said, putting the total at 13,635 confirmed fatalities from the virus. The number of deaths likely from COVID-19 remained at 1,947 overnight. For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.