LOS ANGELES – Amid a statewide surge in coronavirus cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom joined with the governors of Washington and Oregon Friday to issue an advisory urging people to avoid non-essential out-of-state travel and recommending that people traveling into the state quarantine for 14 days.
“California just surpassed a sobering threshold — 1 million COVID-19 cases — with no signs of the virus slowing down,” 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. Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”
Los Angeles County has had a similar recommendation in place urging people who travel out of the area to quarantine for 14 days when they return, although the recommendation wasn’t widely publicized. Word of its existence spread last week as concerns began increasing about residents planning to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving and winter holidays.
As with the county’s recommendation, Newsom’s travel advisory on Friday does not mandate a quarantine, it only urges people to do so. The recommendation applies to anyone “arriving from another state or country,” meaning out-of-state visitors and residents who travel out of the state and return.
According to the governor’s office, the advisory recommends that “individuals limit their interactions to their immediate household.”
It defines “essential travel” as “travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.”
On Thursday, Los Angeles County’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer, urged residents not to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, noting that she personally plans to remain at home instead of visiting her grandchildren, who live out of state.
“If you’re traveling out of state, please pay attention to the many restrictions other states ohave introduced to limit travel and limit transmissions,” Ferrer said. “Public Health does recommend that those who travel out of state quarantine for 14 days once you return to our county.”