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The National Guard in Rhode Island will begin going door-to-door on Saturday to enforce an executive order requiring visitors from New York to go into self-quarantine for 14 days to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Gov. Gina Raimondo, who signed the order Thursday, also authorized police to make traffic stops of vehicles with license plates from the Empire State, according to Bloomberg News.

“Right now we have a pinpointed risk. That risk is called New York City,” said Raimondo, who signed an executive order on the matter on Thursday.

“That’s a law. That’s an order. It comes with penalties. It’s not a suggestion,” she said at a press conference on Friday.

The order will extend through April 25 and apply to anyone who has visited New York in the past two weeks.

New York City is the epicenter of the United States’ coronavirus pandemic. As of Friday, there were more than 44,000 confirmed cases in New York City out of just over 100,000 in the United States. Rhode Island, the smallest state in terms of geographic size, has 203 confirmed cases.


Raimondo, a Democrat, activated 1,000 members of the state’s National Guard to begin making the door-to-door visits. The National Guard members will post up at T.F. Green airport in Warwick, as well as at Amtrak and bus stops across the state in order to screen for traveler from New York.

The maximum penalty for non-compliance with the order is a $500 fine and 90 days in jail, according to Bloomberg.

Raimondo is the first government official to institute a policy related to travel from coronavirus hotspots in the United States. The White House on Wednesday urged New Yorkers to self-quarantine for 14 days if they leave the state, but has not issued a mandate.

Countries around the world have institute travel bans involving other nations. President Donald Trump banned travel from China in late January, and from Europe on March 11.

The executive director for Rhode Island’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union blasted Raimondo’s order as a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

“While the Governor may have the power to suspend some state laws and regulations to address this medical emergency, she cannot suspend the Constitution,” Steven Brown said in a statement.

“Under the Fourth Amendment, having a New York state license plate simply does not, and cannot, constitute ‘probable cause’ to allow police to stop a car and interrogate the driver, no matter how laudable the goal of the stop may be.”

He added: “We urge her not to follow through with such an ill-advised and unconstitutional plan.”

  • Pat says:

    Whoa! One of the few times I’ve agreed with the ACLU!!! If we allow this government tyranny to go on, it will only get worse, and it will get worse for Conservatives and Christians.

  • Alex says:

    Sounds like what China was doing. I’m more fearful of a communist- style government, than a bug.

  • Bob says:

    Time for American Revolution # 2 folks !

  • MAGA says:

    The people want you to start working FOR them. They want you to give them back their voice and stop running the state as to how YOU want to run it. They want you to ask them what they want YOU to do.That’s an order. It’s not a suggestion.

  • L Deutsch says:

    The RI Governor is 100% correct to protect her constituents! Trump needs to change the “shelter in place” suggestion to a MANDATE! Too many selfish inconsiderate people are flagrantly ignoring the “suggestion”! If you have NY Plates you are a NY resident and should be SHELTERING IN PLACE at their NY Home, not irresponsibly traveling up to 100 miles to other states where they have no residence and harassing local stores that are closed and endangering the locals.

  • CF