West Coast Governors Urge COVID Quarantine After Travel

Nov 14, 2020, 7:18 PM | Updated: Dec 7, 2022, 12:12 am
Air travelers wait for their checked baggage at Los Angeles International Airport on October 22, 20...
Air travelers wait for their checked baggage at Los Angeles International Airport on October 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The global pandemic has had a devastating impact on aviation and airlines don't believe they will see much improvement until a reliable COVID-19 vaccine is developed and distributed. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued travel advisories Friday urging people entering or returning to their states to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the coronavirus as infections spike across the U.S.

The advisories stopped short of stricter rules imposed by other governors and instead said people should avoid non-essential out-of-state travel and quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country.

“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million COVID-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” California Gov. Newsom said in a statement. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians.”

The effort two weeks before Thanksgiving — traditionally the busiest travel period of the year in the U.S. — coincides with warnings for people to rethink their holiday traditions and not gather in large groups or beyond their immediate families in settings where the virus could easily spread.

The West Coast states have some of the lowest number of cases per 100,000 residents. But they have also seen a troubling rise in transmissions in November, though not nearly as severe as North Dakota and South Dakota, which have the highest rates per capita.

Oregon for the first time on Thursday surpassed 1,000 positive cases in a day. Gov. Kate Brown announced a two-week “freeze” Friday that will limit restaurants to offering only take-out food and close gyms.

“If we do not act immediately, we will soon reach a breaking point,” Brown said in a social media video.

She said if cases remain at the current level, the travel advisory will likely become a requirement.

California on Thursday became the second state — behind Texas — to surpass 1 million cases of the virus since the outbreak began, though it ranks 40th for cases per capita.

Eleven California counties were forced to impose stricter limits on businesses this week after cases rose above thresholds established by the state. Three Northern California counties on Friday said they would voluntarily join nearby San Francisco in halting indoor dining to help control the virus.

California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the state chose not to ban travel or restrict flying and instead appeal to Californians’ sense of personal responsibility.

Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at the University of California, Irvine, said the voluntary element makes sense because the state can’t police whether people follow quarantine rules. If word got out that the state wasn’t enforcing restrictions, people would ignore it and “the whole thing becomes a farce,” he said.

“I think it sets the right tone that these states are taking it seriously and that we have a bunch of hot spots in the USA,” Noymer said. “Nobody wants to become North Dakota.”

The travel advisory is not as strict as rules implemented in June by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Those three states require travelers to quarantine for 14 days and submit forms disclosing personal information if they arrive from states averaging 10 or more new daily cases of the coronavirus per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period, or from states where 10% or more of tests came up positive on average over the past week.

The West Coast measure will add to the misery of the airline and tourism industries that are reeling from a year when people have been told or encouraged to stay home for months at a time.

On Wednesday, three global airline alliances urged governments to favor testing and other measures over the “blunt instrument” of quarantines. Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam, which represent 58 airlines, said testing could be part of an overall approach to restart international travel, which is down 92% from pre-COVID-19 levels.

Visit California, a nonprofit promoting state tourism, said the recent uptick in cases was cause for concern going into the holidays.

“California’s tourism businesses are disappointed the pandemic is forcing this step, but the travel industry understands long-term recovery is not possible until COVID-19 rates are under control,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “Safety remains our top priority.”

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said travel restrictions have a “limited impact” given how widespread the virus already is.

“We’ve got to focus on things that we have better evidence in terms of what works, like routine and consistent mask use, particularly indoors, testing, supportive isolation of those who are positive and supportive quarantine of those who are exposed,” he said.

The travel advisory comes after San Francisco and 10 other health officers in the Bay Area on Monday issued a joint advisory, urging residents to self-quarantine for two weeks should they leave the region, especially if they have traveled on a plane or train where people did not wear masks at all times.

Some counties said the recommendation also applies to people traveling into the region from outside the area.

Associated Press writers Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, John Antczak in Los Angeles and Sara Cline in Salem, Oregon, contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


A woman is pushing a patient bed through a hospital hallway....
Deidre McPhillips, CNN

Hospitals in the US are the fullest they’ve been throughout the pandemic — but it’s not just COVID-19

(CNN) — Hospitals are more full than they’ve been throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a CNN analysis of data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. But as respiratory virus season surges across the US, it’s much more than Covid that’s filling beds this year. More than 80% of hospital beds are […]
20 hours ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...

Congress set to rescind COVID-19 vaccine mandate for troops

The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the U.S. military would be rescinded under the annual defense bill heading for a vote this week in Congress.
2 days ago
Epidemic control workers wear PPE to protect against the spread of COVID-19 while guarding the gate...
Joe McDonald, Associated Press

China eases anti-COVID measures following protests

China has rolled back rules on isolating people with COVID-19 and dropped virus test requirements for some public places.
2 days ago
2022 FLU SHOT...
Brenda Goodman, CNN

2022 Flu vaccine appears to be a very good match, CDC says

(CNN) — This year’s flu shot appears to be “a very good match” to the circulating strains, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a news briefing Monday. However, she noted that flu vaccinations are lagging behind the pace of previous years. Through the end of October, CDC data showed […]
3 days ago
A healthcare worker prepares a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Sa...

Pfizer asks FDA to clear updated COVID shot for kids under 5

Pfizer is asking U.S. regulators to authorize its updated COVID-19 vaccine for children under age 5.
4 days ago
FILE: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news briefing at the Pentagon July 21,...
TARA COPP, Associated Press

Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, defense chief says

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is making clear he wants to keep the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place to protect the health of the troops.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
West Coast Governors Urge COVID Quarantine After Travel