Ashby Calling for Exemption for Military Personnel And Frontline Workers In Gov's Quarantine On Out-Of-State Travelers

June 25, 2020

Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton) is calling for an exemption to the governor’s executive order which would impose quarantines on those who recently traveled from states facing high numbers of COVID-19 cases, such as Texas. The assemblyman is concerned that as the order is written, it could, in practice, result in a travel ban which could leave many military men and women and frontline workers abandoned in these quarantine states.

“New York should be proud of its many devoted men and women in the military and the frontline workers we sent to help other states. Their work has been invaluable in the fight against COVID-19. The governor’s recent executive order enforcing a quarantine from any out-of-state travelers coming from other high-risk states could potentially leave many of our brave frontline workers and service men and women abandoned in these states,” said Ashby. “An exemption must be made for these brave people so they can be reunited with their families and get well-deserved rest for all their hard work.”

The lack of clarity in the executive order and its impact on military personnel and frontline workers is a chief concern for Ashby. As written now, the order could potentially leave men and women in the military on bases in high-risk states. Furthermore, because of the lack of clarity, extension to military orders cannot be given, which jeopardizes civilian employment. There could be similar impacts to the frontline essential workers who were sent to help fight the coronavirus in states with great need.

The order outlined a 14-day quarantine to be imposed on individuals traveling from states with high infection rates such as Alabama, Texas and Florida. Failure to comply would lead to fines in the thousands of dollars and a mandatory quarantine. Problematically, these travel-based quarantines act as travel bans, the legality of which have been questioned when other states had imposed the same on travelers from New York state.