NEWARK, NJ — The city is seeking to ward off a potential resurgence of the coronavirus in Newark by asking the federal Transportation Security Administration, Governor Phil Murphy's office and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to perform temperature checks on passengers arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport from states considered COVID-19 hotspots.
As the virus surges in other parts of the United States, Newark, once the epicenter of a hotspot state in March and April, has managed to keep new cases in the single digits, according to Essex County data. Mayor Ras Baraka is requesting that travelers who register a high temperature be quarantined at designated sites and fill out contact tracing forms, the city said on Tuesday.
“As COVID-19 cases and death spike in other parts of the country, it is important we keep the virus here manageable to protect our residents. I’d like to see the airport be a first line of defense," Baraka said in a statement.
New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York announced joint restrictions for travelers from high-risk states last week, which now includes:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
Murphy added 10 more states to that list on Tuesday as the U.S. climbed to 3.5 million cases and more than 140,000 deaths. Travelers are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and limit their contact with others.
A spokesperson for Port Authority said that the agency continues to cooperate with state health departments, but did not address whether it would comply with Baraka's requests for those traveling through Newark airport.
"As it has since the beginning of the pandemic, the Port Authority, which has an informational role, is working closely with the governors and state health departments of New York and New Jersey," the spokesperson said. "Extensive signage and messaging are placed to inform out of state travelers of travel protocols."