West Coast governors urge COVID quarantine after travel

Full Screen
1 / 7

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Travelers wear face masks at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. California has become the second state to record 1 million confirmed coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES – The governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued travel advisories Friday urging people entering or returning to their states to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the coronavirus as infections spike across the U.S.

The advisories stopped short of stricter rules imposed by other governors and instead said people should avoid non-essential out-of-state travel and quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country.

“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million COVID-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” California Gov. 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.”

The effort two weeks before Thanksgiving — traditionally the busiest travel period of the year in the U.S. — coincides with warnings for people to rethink their holiday traditions and not gather in large groups or beyond their immediate families in settings where the virus could easily spread.

The West Coast states have some of the lowest number of cases per 100,000 residents. But they have also seen a troubling rise in transmissions in November, though not nearly as severe as North Dakota and South Dakota, which have the highest rates per capita.

Oregon for the first time on Thursday surpassed 1,000 positive cases in a day. Gov. Kate Brown announced a two-week “freeze” Friday that will limit restaurants to offering only take-out food and close gyms.

“If we do not act immediately, we will soon reach a breaking point,” Brown said in a social media video.

She said if cases remain at the current level, the travel advisory will likely become a requirement.