In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo says beginning Tuesday, all passengers returning to T.F. Green Airport must self-quarantine for 14 days.
Because half of Rhode Island's cases involved travel, Raimondo said she will be signing an executive order Monday afternoon to impose the self-quarantine which will begin at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
"I know there are a lot of Rhode Islanders who have been on vacation, who went to visit family, who have had a hard time getting home, we're hearing from you," Raimondo said a Monday news conference. "Come home. I want you to come home. However, when you arrive back to our airport, you are being directed to self-quarantine for 14 days."
The governor said passengers will probably be greeted by members of the National Guard and be asked where they traveled to as well as their contact information.
"It's in order to keep you safe and to help us put a lid on the spread of this disease," Raimondo said.
Monday's announcement came as Raimondo said there were 23 new cases of COVID-19 in the state bringing the total number to 106. No deaths have been reported in the state.
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The new cases ranged from people in their 20s to those in their 90s, according to Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott.
Raimondo also announced Monday the state will move its planned April 28 primary to June 2. Rhode Island joins Connecticut, Maryland, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio in postponing.
The governor had been initially resistant to delaying the primary but said she was "open to the idea" after the state Board of Elections recently called on her to order the delay. The elections board has said postponing the primary would give officials more time to prepare for a mail ballot-focused election.
During Monday's news conference, Raimondo reiterated the importance of social distancing in order to "flatten the curve" of the pandemic.
"I'm counting on you to enforce this because in this regard, we all have to help each other out," she said. "The best enforcers are the people Rhode Island because it's in everybody's interest that we tamp down the virus so that we can re-open this economy."
Raimondo has ordered all gyms, salons, theaters, bowling alleys and other entertainment venues to close by 5 p.m. Monday as the state works to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
Although Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued a stay-at-home advisory on Monday, Raimondo said she did not plan to do that and urged Rhode Island residents who commute to other states, like Massachusetts, to work from home if possible. She also urged companies to let employees work remotely.