Arizona preparing list of communities where airplane travelers would face quarantine

Arizona preparing list of communities where airplane travelers would face quarantine

From the April's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: 1,200+ Pima County cases, stay-home order extended series

Arizona is telling travelers from areas with wide community spread of the coronavirus to self quarantine upon arrival.

PHOENIX – Have friends flying in from a part of the country that has seen a community-wide spread of the coronavirus? Well, they may not be able to come to your house to visit.

If they live in areas identified as having “substantial community spread” of COVID-19 that means, effective at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, April 9, they were subject to a new order by Gov. Doug Ducey to self-quarantine for 14 days after they arrive.

You can, however, probably go golfing with them if that’s what you enjoy.

Ducey’s directive does allow people to leave their self-quarantine area for “essential services.” And under an earlier gubernatorial order, that includes outdoor activities like golf.

But they can’t stay with you, as the order says those affected “shall refrain from isolating or self-quarantining with family members or friends who did not travel.”

In describing his order Tuesday, the governor specifically mentioned anyone flying in from Connecticut, New Jersey or New York. And gubernatorial press aide Patrick Ptak said that, based on the designations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that means anyone from anywhere in those three states, not just those coming from the New York City area.

But Ducey’s order also says it applies to anyone from an area with “significant community spread.”

Here’s where it gets even more complex.

The CDC defines significant community spread as “large scale community transmission, health-care staffing significantly impacted (and) multiple cases within communal settings.” And officials in multiple communities, like New Orleans, San Antonio and even Yankton County, South Dakota, have said they have substantial community spread.

But other than Ducey’s mention of the tri-state New York area, his order does not list other specific communities.

Instead it tasks the Department of Health Services to come up with a list and put it on its website so it could be implemented. State health officials said that site was still being developed Wednesday afternoon.

There are other complicating factors.

Ptak said the controlling issue over who should self-quarantine is based not on where the person normally lives but instead on the arriving flight.

Put simply, someone from Boston flying to Arizona who connects at JFK would fall under the governor’s order.

But passengers on a direct flight from Boston would be free to come and go as they want, subject to Ducey’s more general stay-at-home directives that apply to everyone in Arizona.

On Twitter: @azcapmedia

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