The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is questioning the constitutionality of Gov. Gina Raimondo's directive allowing state police to stop vehicles with NY license plates to collect information from drivers and passengers in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The governor's directive is simply to ensure that travelers from NY staying in Rhode Island know they are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, Raimondo's spokesman said.
According to Bloomberg News, military personnel and police officers are searching for individuals from NY who are seeking refuge in The Ocean State.
Rhode Island plans to send the National Guard out to knock door-to-door in an attempt to hunt down anyone who has arrived in the tiny state from New York City during the coronavirus pandemic. "That risk is called New York City". "I know it's extreme and I know some people disagree with it", she said.
Members of the 1207th Rhode Island National Guard unit stand at the Westerly, R.I., Amtrak station Friday, March 27, 2020, to inform passengers from NY of the 14-day quarantine restrictions if disembarking in Rhode Island ordered by Gov. Gina Raimondo. It doesn't apply to public health, public safety, or health-care workers. No more than five people in Rhode Islanders may congregate together.
Raimondo signed an executive order Thursday that applies to anyone who has been in ny during the past two weeks and through at least April 25.
NY has more than 40,000 casesand more than 500 deaths from the virus, by far the most in the country.
Cuomo said he was opposed to such restrictions, at least within the state.
"Yesterday I announced and today I reiterated: Anyone coming to Rhode Island in any way from NY must be quarantined", the governor said.
Both people had underlying medical conditions, according to a statement from the Rhode Island Department of Health. If they do not comply, they will be subject to fines and jail time.
CT officials have voiced concern that people from NY and elsewhere are returning earlier than normal to their summer homes, but Gov. Ned Lamont has so far not issued an official order for out-of-staters to self-quarantine.
Overnight, Rhode Island has seen 36 new cases. During a Thursday press conference she said, "Starting tomorrow, the Rhode Island State Police will be stopping passenger vehicles entering Rhode Island with NY license plates". But I agree that having an out-of-state plate can't possibly be a legitimate justification for a traffic stop.