The Connecticut Department of Public Health issued its first $3,000 fines on Monday to two individuals who Gov. Ned Lamont said failed to comply with the travel advisory for residents who return home from states with high COVID-19 infection rates.
The Democrat said the two unnamed people had flown back to Connecticut from Louisiana and Florida and neither filled out a health form that’s required from anyone entering from any state with a 10% or higher positive rate over a seven-day rolling average or a new daily positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents.
Lamont held a video conference with Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier this month:
Dr. Anthony Fauci joined me this afternoon to share his thoughts on what Connecticut has been doing right to make progress in keeping cases of COVID low and what we need to do to ensure we keep it that way. pic.twitter.com/FryKrW4aTe
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) August 4, 2020
In addition to failing to complete the form, one of the people also refused to quarantine for the required 14 days and was fined an additional $1,000. Lamont said a co-worker had notified state officials that the person was not complying with Lamont’s executive order. Officials received a tip about the other person as well, according to USA Today.
“Look I hate to do it, but we are going to be serious and show people we are serious about this,” Lamont said during a press conference. “Overwhelmingly the number of people flying into our state from COVID-infected areas is way down. I think people are self-policing and self-regulating, but not all are,” he added. “We wanted to send a message loud and clear.”
The residents that were fined live in Hartford and Windham Counties, according to Josh Geballe, Connecticut’s chief operating officer. “This is for real. We need people to follow these rules, we need people to comply,” Geballe said Monday.
The governor also announced that documentation will now be required for mask exemptions and said the state will be cracking down on large gatherings. Connecticut’s death toll is currently at 4,444, and the positive test rate over the last week was 0.7%.
Today's COVID-19 update in Connecticut:
➡️8,338 tests were administered, 117 came back positive (1.4% positivity rate)
➡️70 patients are hospitalized (increase of 6)
➡️Thankfully there have been no COVID-related deaths reported today
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) August 11, 2020
Lamont also said there will be heightened enforcement concerning large private parties and suggested people who claim they can’t wear face masks because of medical reasons to carry a doctor’s note with them, noting some people have been abusing the exemption from state’s mask requirements.