KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With new cases of COVID-19 surging in Kansas, the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have added the Sunflower State to a long list of states that must abide by a 14-day quarantine upon visiting those states.
“We just have to get back to the basics,” said Dr. Lee Norman, the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
On Tuesday, Kansas found itself on a list of the top 14 states in the country with the most rapid spread of coronavirus. Norman points out that Kansas is also among the top 14 states for having the least restrictions on activities.
In an interview with FOX4, Norman expressed disappointment.
“We are just probably right back to where we would be, almost, if we didn’t do any of those things at all (at the outset of the pandemic),” Norman said, “which, if anything, it re-emphasizes the basics that we’re talking about, with social distancing, masks and handwashing.”
Norman urged people to consider whether summer travel, especially to places like New York with quarantine orders, is worth the risk for Kansans.
“I would recommend that, until we turn the corner on this and get our numbers going back in the more favorable direction, that they should not make that travel,” Norman said, “because they are going to be inconvenienced and run the risk of having a civil penalty against them.”
Travel agent JoAnne Weeks said, while fines and arrests are possible, in most cases, travelers will be expected to use the honor system.
“It’s going to be on the honor system, as far as driving,” Weeks said. “Flying is a bit different. That way, they can actually track and know who’s coming in. But again, with driving, it’s going to be more on the honor system.”
Even so, some states like Maine, Alaska and Hawaii have put up strict restrictions, even arresting travel violators.
“In Hawaii, they were nabbing people from social media that had just arrived, that were supposed to be quarantined in their hotel rooms, and they were posting on social media, being on the beach and being out at restaurants and what not, they were arrested,” Weeks said.
Missouri is not on those states’ lists.