The expansion comes as officials express concern regarding a resurgence in COVID-19 cases across the country. Officials recommend individuals stay at home for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania from travel to any of these areas. Pennsylvania is depending on voluntary compliance to enforce the quarantine. On July 15, 2020, Delaware was removed from the list, bringing the current total to 18 states.
The voluntary quarantine, originally announced on July 2, 2020, complicates the regulatory framework for employers during the reopening process. Pennsylvania has declined to offer clear guidance, stating simply, “The Commonwealth does not dictate how businesses should implement the quarantine recommendation.” Pennsylvania recommends travelers quarantine for the full 14-day period, even after a negative test result.
Employers may order employees exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to leave the workplace until they are tested or quarantine for 14 days. According the guidance, “An employee exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 may be directed by their employer to leave the worksite and to stay home until they receive a negative test or to quarantine for 14 days before returning to the worksite.”
Pennsylvania’s list of impacted areas now includes 18 states:
New Jersey has 31 states on their list of areas subject to travel restrictions. The New Jersey list, shared by New York and Connecticut, places a 14-day quarantine travel advisory on travel from certain states with a positive COVID-19 test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.
Some states have gone beyond voluntary compliance. New York requires travelers complete a “Traveler Health Form” when arriving at an airport. Failure to complete the form is enforceable by a $2,000 fine. Travelers to New York may be ordered to complete a mandatory quarantine.
On June 28, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidance on domestic travel. The CDC guidance reiterates staying at home is the best way to limit the spread of COVID-19. The United States Department of State issued a “Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel Advisory.” The Department of State advises Americans avoid international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.
The Coronavirus Task Force at Klehr Harrison stands ready to assist you in your business and legal needs. We will continue to provide additional information and guidance as the COVID-19 situation develops.
Author Patrick McKnight is an associate in the Litigation Department at Klehr Harrison.